Sustainable Community Innovation Grants
Attention: Sustainable Community Innovation Grants will not be offered for FY2014.
When applying for this grant, please refer to the guidelines in the Call for Proposal and carefully follow the application procedures.
Sustainable Community Innovation Grants are jointly administered by Southern SARE and the Southern Rural Development Center for the purpose of linking sustainable agriculture with healthy economic community development. Healthy and prosperous rural communities are vital to the sustainability of a healthy U.S. agriculture, and sustainable agriculture practices are important to the future vitality of many rural communities.
Despite the strong ties between agriculture and the community in which it is embedded, researchers and practitioners often fall short in their efforts to integrate both components into their scholarly and outreach activities. The Sustainable Community Innovation Grants program is an effort designed to invest in programs that blend sound community development with sustainable agriculture strategies.
Southern SARE seeks to fund projects/programs that promote a stronger alignment between sustainable agriculture and community development strategies throughout the South. This type of alignment cannot be realized without strong and balanced working partnerships among people and organizations representing both sustainable agriculture and community development perspectives.
Who can apply?
Any person or organization with an idea that will link sustainable agriculture activities to healthy rural community development.
What activities are eligible?
Any activities that will increase knowledge, build capacity, and make connections between farms and rural communities to the benefit of people who live in those communities. This could include, but is not limited to, developing farmers markets, establishing nutrition classes about the benefits of local foods, and facilitating local processing of pastured livestock.
How much will the grants fund?
Project maximums are $10,000 for up to two years of activities.
Successful proposals include:
- Partnerships. All relevant stakeholders in the community should be represented, including producers, civic organizations, local government, and entrepreneurs. To that mix should be added researchers, community development professionals, environmentalists, and other specialists as needed.
- Multiple disciplines. Even though scientists are trained within disciplines, real-world agricultural problems seldom occur within such neat boundaries. The research team should consist of cooperators from a variety of disciplines who design a plan to integrate their efforts.
- Linkages. Link sound farm and non-farm economic development with agricultural and natural resource management.
Sustainable Community Innovation Grant recipients must incorporate an educational outreach component to their project. This could take the form of training materials, articles, workshops, webinars/web-based programs, pamphlets and other media, generated from the results of the funded projects that can be adapted for use by other communities.
TYPES OF PROJECTS THAT ARE NOT FUNDABLE
The following types of projects are NOT funded:
• Projects that focus on community gardens
• Projects designed to fund farmers market staff/managers
• Projects that focus on a single farm or business firm
• Projects that only engage participants from a single organization or focus area (for example, people/groups who represent only the agricultural sector/interests)
• Projects that fail to incorporate any focus on sustainable agriculture
USE OF FUNDS
Funds MAY be used for the following purposes:
1. Supplies, including software;
3. Travel and per diem necessary for the project;
4. Outreach expenses;
5. Refreshments when meetings are held in a remote location where refreshments are not readily available;
6. Working lunches.
Funds MAY NOT be used for the following purposes:
1. International travel;
2. Permanent capital improvements, e.g. land, buildings, etc;
3. Purchase of passenger carrying vehicles;
4. Starting a farm or farming operation;
5. Full or partial meals that are not working lunches.
6. Starting or expanding a non-governmental organization or organizational startup expenses of any kind are not allowed in Sustainable Community Innovation Grant projects.