Producers in the North Central Region interested in incorporating
sustainable agriculture practices into their farm or ranch
operation , or wanting to try an alternative crop or develop a new
marketing approach can apply for a grant from the Sustainable
Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
The Producer-Initiated Sustainable Agriculture competitive grant
program helps farmers and ranchers in the North Central Region
test, evaluate and adapt sustainable agriculture practices for
their operations; conduct learning circles or educational events to
further disseminate information to producers; or develop new
marketing strategies. Projects will be funded that identify
specific problems and potential solutions to those problems.
Solutions might involve small research trials, crop variety tests,
educational activities, demonstrations, farmer workshop, learning
circles, surveys, etc.
A wide diversity of demonstration and on-farm research projects
have been funded through this program,including rotational grazing,
field trials, farmer networks, alternative crops, composting,
equipment modifications and biocontrol methods.
About $100,000 is available for grants of up to $5,000. In the
first three years, 87 grants were awarded to producers in the North
Central Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South
Dakota and Wisconsin.
Applications are due by May 1, 1995. Funding decisions are likely
to be made in July. Money will actually become available in mid-
fall, 1995. In 1992, there were 109 applications, and 25 were
funded. In 1993, there were 93 applications, and 31 were funded.
In 1994, there were 204 applications and 34 applications were
funded for 31 projects. (Several joint applications were combined
in one project. Maximum project total can still be just $5,000.)
For those producers familiar with the program, it is similar to
other years, except the potential now exists for up to an 18-month
grant period. In addition, the NCR SARE Administrative Council has
expressed an interest in seeing some proposals which included a
youth component The application packet includes further detains on
the program, changes made in the 1995 requirements, and how
producers can apply.
For a copy of the grant application packet, or a list of previously
funded grants, contact the NCR SARE Program, 13A Activities Bldg.,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0840 or call
(402) 472-7081. While only producers in the North Central Region
are eligible for this program, similar producer grant programs are
available in all four SARE regions. For more information, contact
your regional SARE Office.