Attention: To apply for a Producer Grant, you must follow the rules and instructions found in the Call for Proposals. The information below is to give interested people an idea of what a Producer Grant is and what can and can’t be funded.
The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program recognizes the value and importance of on the farm, producer experience in developing solutions to agricultural production challenges. In order to capture this producer experience, the Southern SARE program offers a competitive grants program called the Producer Grant program. Through the Producer Grant program, farmers and ranchers can conduct research projects to solve production or marketing challenges and problems they face.
The purpose of this grant program is for farmers/ranchers to conduct projects to solve challenges and problems they face and develop information on what works and doesn’t work so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same problems can benefit from the results of the funded project.
NOTE: Be aware that our grants are for research, education and outreach purposes only. They are not for beginning farmers nor are they intended to pay a farmer to farm, start a farm, buy land, or make capital investments or farm improvements. They are designed to take some of the financial risk away from trying a sustainable ag solution to a current farm issue. Projects must be developed, coordinated and conducted by farmers and/or ranchers or a producer organization. Producer organizations should be comprised primarily of farmers/ranchers and must have majority farmer representation on their governing board.
If you are interested in implementing sustainable agriculture techniques on your farm, you may be eligible for one of our grants. Read on!
Who can apply?
Any producer or producer organization in the Southern region is eligible to apply for a Producer Grant.
What activities are eligible?
On the farm research and marketing projects that promote sustainable agriculture. Projects should be innovative, generate results that are useful beyond one year, and produce information that many farmers can use.
How much will the grants fund?
Project maximums are $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization.
Successful proposals include:
- Cooperators. They can be other farmers, researchers, Extension agents or specialists, governmental or nongovernmental organizations, or other interested individuals who cooperate in project planning, data collection, or communication of project results.
- An outreach plan for providing other producers, researchers, and Extension personnel with an opportunity to learn from project results. Outreach plans may include workshops, field days, fact sheets, or brochures.
- Clear goals. Clear and simple goals help ensure a successful project.
Before you apply
Southern SARE Producer Grants are competitive. Each year we receive more grants than we have monies to award funding. Here are some suggestions that will aid in you submitting a top-notch proposal.
- Do your homework! You may have a great idea for a project, but the research related to the topic may already be well established. Remember, we look for projects that are new, innovative, generate results that are useful beyond one year and produce information that many farmers can use. You can search our Projects Database as a research tool for funded sustainable ag topics and where your project may fit.
- You may want to discuss your project with your local Extension agent or one of our state ag coordinators for your state before applying for a grant. Generally, he or she can assist you or give you advice on how to improve or fill gaps in your sustainable ag project.
- Collaborate with Extension agents, other farmers, non-profit organizations, university researchers or anyone whom you feel would be valuable to your project.
- The proposal application process if very straightforward, but you can improve your proposal, and your chances of being funded, by looking at tips to writing a successful proposal.
Ready to apply?
When you are ready to apply for a Producer Grant, download the Call for Proposals and carefully follow the instructions. The application process always begins with the Call for Proposals. All the rules and guidelines and everything you need to complete the application process and successfully submit your project can be found in the Call for Proposals.
1. A farmer or rancher or farmer/rancher organization may submit only ONE proposal to the S-SARE Producer Grant program in any grant year. If you have several good ideas, pick the best one and develop it into a great Producer Grant proposal.
2. Successful projects MUST include project cooperators. They can be other farmers, researchers, extension agents, governmental or non-governmental organizations or others who cooperate in project planning, data collection and outreach of results.
3. All projects MUST have an outreach plan for providing other producers, researchers and extension personnel with an opportunity to learn from project results. The outreach plan is very important; sustainable agriculture will only be promoted if other growers learn what you are doing. Outreach may be accomplished through workshops, field days, fact sheets, brochures or other outreach activities.
4. Projects may be funded up to TWO years for a maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization.
5. You can submit your proposal only on the Southern SARE Proposal Submission System. Full instructions are found in the Call for Proposals.
USE OF FUNDS
Producer Grant funds may be used for the following purposes:
- Costs of sampling and sample analysis,
- Materials and supplies needed for the project.
- Outreach expenses such as holding a field day,
- Travel ($0.51 cents/mile) needed for the project,
- Hired labor for things that you can’t do yourself,
- Your labor, for project activities above and beyond your normal farming duties,
- Refreshments at field days, e.g. coffee, cold drinks, fruit, pie, cookies, etc.
Producer Grant funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:
- Buying equipment.
- Starting or expanding a farm or farming operation,
- Permanent improvements to a farm or ranch, e.g. planting an orchard, buying a herd, bee hives, bees or buying animals.
- Installing permanent fencing, permanent greenhouses, high tunnels, water containment tanks, irrigation pipe & pumps, building a pond or constructing a building,
- Lunches or other full meals at field days or large gatherings,
- Testing of commercial products.