CALL FOR 1996 PREPROPOSALS
Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education Program
The Southern Region USDA Program on Sustainable Agriculture Research
and Education (SARE), in partnership with the EPA Program on Agriculture in
Concert with the Environment (ACE), is requesting preproposals for research
and education activities that address issues of sustainable agriculture of
and potential importance to the region and nation. Sustainable agriculture, as
defined by Title XVI, Subtitle A, Sec. 1603, is an integrated system of plant
and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will,
over the long-term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance
environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the
agriculture economy depends; make the most use of nonrenewable
resources and on-farm resources, and integrate, where appropriate, natural
biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm
operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and ranchers, and
society as a whole.
The objective of the SARE/ACE program is to enable the full spectrum of
farmers and ranchers to move profitably toward production systems compatible
with the concept of sustainable agriculture. Specific objectives include:
Promote good stewardship of the nation's natural resources by providing
site specific and profitable sustainable farming and ranching methods that
strengthen agricultural competitiveness; satisfy human food and fiber
needs; maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of the soil;
conserve soil, water, energy, natural resources, and fish and wildlife
habitat; protect endangered species; and maintain and improve the quality
of surface and groundwater;
Protect the health and safety of persons involved in the food/farm system;
Enhance the quality of life for farmers/ranchers and society as a whole, in
part by increasing income and employment - especially profitable
self-employment opportunities in agriculture and rural communities.
Specifically, a major goal is to strengthen the family farm system of
agriculture, a system characterized by small- and moderate-sized farms that
are principally owner operated;
Promote crop, livestock, and enterprise diversification and the well-being
of animals, and;
Strengthen rural communities by creating economic conditions, including
value-added products that foster locally owned business and employment
Three general types of projects are eligible for funding: integrated
planning projects and experimental (Appendix A). Each preproposal must
suggest its predominant type, however, the Technical Committee holds the final
decision for assigning preproposals to a category. Priority areas for FY1996
funding include: 1) marketing and value-added products; 2) limited resource
farmers; 3) quality of life; 4) environmentally sound multiple land uses; and 5)
integrated management technologies. Appendix B more fully describes these
Preproposals that do not conform to the prescribed format in
Appendix C or do not arrive by the due date will not be considered for
The SARE/ACE Technical Committee (composed of representatives of the
agricultural community including researchers, farmers, extension personnel,
USDA, and NRCS representatives) evaluates preproposals based upon their
relevance to SARE/ACE program goals, appropriateness of research and
demonstration methodologies, and extent of interdisciplinary,
and regional approaches. The Southern Region SARE/ACE program especially
encourages preproposals that have substantial farmer and end-user involvement
in the design, implementation, and dissemination stages of the project. All
preproposals must include an explicit plan for making research findings
to the intended users, both academic and farming communities. Appendix D lists
the criteria for preproposal evaluation.
The Southern Region SARE/ACE program received 155 preproposals in
1994, of which 43 were selected for development into full proposals. Of those
43 full proposals, 9 proposals were chosen for funding by the Southern Region
SARE/ACE Administrative Council. The average total budget request for the
proposals selected (one to three years in duration) for funding in 1995 was
approximately $ 144,975. Funding for the Southern Region SARE/ACE program
was approximately $ 1.5 M for FY 1995; similar funding levels are anticipated
An unstapled original and 10 stapled copies of the completed
preproposal must be received by 5:00 PM on October 13, 1995. Fax
transmission of preproposals is not acceptable.
Send preproposals to: Paula B. Ford
Southern Region SARE/ACE Program
1109 Experiment Street
Room 203 Stuckey Building
Griffin, GA 30223-1797
Project coordinators of preproposals selected for development into full
proposals will be notified of the status of their preproposal by November 21,
1995. The deadline for receipt of full proposals is January 5, 1995.
For more information about sustainable agriculture or the Southern Region
SARE/ACE program, please contact:
Paula B. Ford Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
Southern Region SARE/ACE Program National Agriculture Library
1109 Experiment StreetGeorgia Station 1031 Baltimore Boulevard
Griffin, GA 30223-1797 Beltsville, MD 20705
TYPES OF PROJECTS
The Southern Region SARE/ACE Program will accept preproposals for
three types of projects in 1996: Integrated Systems, Planning Projects and
Experimental Projects. All projects should be participatory and involve farmers
and end-users in problem identification, research/education design and project
1) Integrated Systems - These projects functionally integrate the findings of
research studies, several disciplines, and direct experience into a whole
farm or natural ecosystem context. Synergistic and conflicting
relationships among various aspects of the farming operation are explored
and documented. They also include interdisciplinary projects of a
landscape, community or watershed scale that address issues of importance
to sustainable agriculture. Full-scale regional resource issues projects
should be relatively large in scope and should involve a substantial number
and diversity of cooperators. Economic aspects, including cost/benefit
analysis and impact analysis, should be incorporated in these projects.
2) Planning Projects - A limited number of planning grants will be available
to develop proposals for integrated systems research. Most projects
planned with SARE/ACE funding would be expected to be submitted to
other granting agencies. They would also be considered for joint funding
under future SARE/ACE calls for project proposals, but a planning grant
award does not guarantee that the full proposal will be approved for
funding by SARE/ACE.
3) Experimental - Experimental component projects focus on developing or
improving a sustainable farming practice or examination of a basic or
applied biophysical problem. Component projects should address a vital
gap in our current knowledge and must link with an integrated system.
PRIORITY AREAS FOR 1996 FUNDING
The Southern Region SARE/ACE Program is committed to an ethic of
openness, inclusiveness, and diversity in all of its programs, policies and
procedures. We particularly invite proposals from 1890 Land Grant Universities
and non-governmental organizations.
All projects will be evaluated to select technically sound research and
education projects that reflect a diversity in institutional affiliations
and project coordinators.
All preproposals must include substantial, documented farmer or end-user
involvement in problem identification, project development and
dissemination of results.
In addition, proposals must explicitly address one or more of the following,
equally important, priority areas.
MARKETING AND VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS - Research and
education programs that focus on alternative marketing systems and
practices that increase the potential market value of agricultural
LIMITED-RESOURCE FARMERS - Research and education projects
that focus on the potential role of the limited resource farmer in
agriculture (including production, marketing, etc).
QUALITY OF LIFE/SOCIAL IMPACT - Analyze and disseminate
information on the effects of sustainable agriculture on the structure of
agriculture, rural communities, quality of life, human health,
quality, resource conservation and other effects.
ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MULTIPLE LAND USES -
Research and education programs that investigate potential environmentally
sound multiple land uses, including, but not limited to: agroforestry,
wildlife, wetlands, aquaculture, composting and riparian zones.
INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES - Research and
education projects that focus on integrated animal, nutrient,
prevention, crop and livestock diversification, and resource management
(Integrated Pest Management - IPM; Integrated Crop Management - ICM;
and Integrated Resource Management - IRM) systems. Develop and
evaluate sustainable farming methods and systems.
All preproposals must be typewritten, single spaced, no more than five (5)
pages in length (for items 2-6) and not more than 12 characters per inch or
smaller than 12-point font.
Preproposals must include the following sections. Other materials or
attachments are not required and will not be considered during the preproposal
I. Title - Each preproposal must include the attached SARE/ACE title page
form. This must be the first page of the preproposal.
II. Abstract - One-paragraph (maximum 100 words) description of problem,
goals and objectives, relevance of project outcome, research/education
methodologies to be used, and plan for disseminating results to other
researchers and end-users.
III. Statement of Problem, Rationale and Significance - Statement of
problem and relevance of project outcome. Description of potential
environmental, economic or social impact of project outcome.
IV. Objectives - List of concise project objectives.
V. Approach and Methods - Brief description of research and education
methods to be used.
VI. Information Dissemination and Outreach Plan - Plan to distribute
research and education results to a broad geographic and demographic
audience, with an emphasis on farmer and end-user education.
VII. Project Investigators and Participants - List project investigators,
including project coordinator, and participants. Briefly describe relevant
experience and role in project for each investigator and participant.
VIII. Letters of Support - All preproposals must include letters of support
from each project participant. These must be included in the
IX. References - One (1) page limit.
X. Budget - Tentative budget, including estimated personnel, operating,
supply, and equipment costs. Overhead costs are not allowed in the
SARE/ACE program, but may be shown as matching funds. All
preproposals are encouraged to show a matching funds contribution.
CRITERIA TO EVALUATE PREPROPOSALS
I. ALL PROJECT TYPES
1) Statement of Problem, Rationale and Significance - How will project
outcomes contribute to attainment of the goals of sustainable agriculture
and the priorities of the Southern Region SARE/ACE? This criterion
includes both short- and long-term impacts.
2) Functional Participation of Farmers, Diverse Institutions and Multiple
Disciplines - How are farmers, multiple institutions, and interdisciplinary
approaches integrated into the research and education plan? Does the
preproposal have a realistic plan for assembling an appropriate team of
participants and devising an effective team strategy? Participation and
expected contributions of individuals and institutions must be consistent
with project objectives.
3) Methods and Appropriateness of Project Design - Are proposed
methods and design adequate to meet project objectives? Are they
4) Information Dissemination and Outreach - A detailed plan for
information dissemination (including non-traditional forms of
communication) and outreach that establishes who the relevant clientele are
(e.g. farm size and type, rural communities, policymakers) and how results
of the project will be made available to targeted groups.
5) Evidence of Ability of Project Investigators and Major Participants to
Achieve Stated Goals - Are the investigators qualified to conduct the
proposed project? Are the roles of all investigators and participants
adequately described and appropriate?
6) Potential Area Impacted - What is the large scale environmental benefit
from this research and education project? What are the potential economic
and social benefits of this project?
7) Budget - Is the tentative budget appropriate to conduct the proposed
II. INTEGRATED SYSTEMS PROJECTS
Incorporation of a Holistic Approach - Do the objectives and methods
indicate a holistic approach? A holistic approach might include landscape,
watershed, whole-farm or farming systems studies.
III. PLANNING PROJECTS
Target Program for Project Planned - Does the target program for
subsequent submission of a full proposal have adequate resources and
common objectives with SARE/ACE?
IV. EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS
Relationship to Integrated Systems - Does the project meet a specific
knowledge gap identified through integrated systems projects, planning
projects or some other source?
1996 Preproposal Title Page
Southern Region SARE/ACE
1. Project Title:
2. Project Coordinator: (Name, address, telephone, fax) Even if there are
co-coordinators, list only
one person as sole contact for office purposes.)
3. Budget: SARE/ACE Non-Federal
(If you have more cooperating institutions, check here _______and continue
on back of page)
Total Budget _______________ ______________
4. Project Type as described in Appendix A (check only one):
_____ Integrated Systems Project ______ Planning Project
______ Experimental Project
5. Priority Areas as described in Appendix B (check as many as apply):
______ Marketing and value-added products
______ Limited-resource farmers
______ Quality of life/social impact
______ Environmentally sound multiple land uses
______ Integrated management technologies
Gwen Roland GROLAND @ GAES.GRIFFIN.PEACHNET.EDU