Monday, August 29, 2011

SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants Now Open

The North Central Regional-SARE has allocated about $400,000 for the 2011 Farmer/Rancher Grant Program. There are three types of competitive grants:

• Individual grants ($7,500 maximum)
• Partner grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($15,000 maximum)
• Group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($22,500 maximum).

Projects must be completed in 24 months. Farmer/Rancher Grants provide opportunities for farmers/ ranchers to use Sustainable Agriculture practices and their own innovative ideas to solve problems on the farm or ranch, and to share their ideas. Any farmer/rancher or group of farmers/ranchers who farm or operate a ranch in the North Central Region may apply. (A farmer/rancher is someone who raises crops or livestock, especially as a business.)

Since the start of the Farmer/Rancher Grant Program in 1992, over 800 grants have been awarded to farmers/ranchers studying topics such as alternative grain crops as animal feed, alternative uses for CRP land, biological weed & pest control, energy alternatives & conservation, health and safety of employees, holistic management, labor issues, livestock & crop production systems, marketing, organic farming, quality of life issues, rotational grazing, soil conservation, waste management, water quality, and water conservation.

The farmer/rancher grants are for sustainable agriculture research, demonstration, and education projects; they are NOT for everyday farming expenses.

• Applicants must identify specific problems and potential solutions to those problems.
• Maximum duration for grant projects is 24 months.
• Projects that involve whole farm systems and/or a youth component are encouraged.
• Livestock projects need to comply with reasonable animal care requirements to insure that animals are properly cared for.

Characteristics of Successful Proposals:

• Clearly define a problem that can be addressed and evaluated within the time and financial limits of the project. (Don’t take on too much – these are small grants.)
• Involve cooperators who assist with project planning, evaluation, and outreach. Cooperators may include Extension educators; staff of non-profit groups, local conservation districts, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); network coordinators; and soil consultants.
• Involve local or state groups which help share project results.
• Emphasize outreach such as field days, publications, videos, websites, and workshops.

Click here and go to the second red subtitle on the right side of the page to "Open Calls for Proposals" to read the entire farmer/rancher grant call for proposals.

To learn more about the Farmer/Rancher Grant join in on the September MO Beginning Farmers Program's Monday webinars. The webinars are held from 7-8:30 pm. Sign in as a guest with your name. All webinars are archived and can be found at the Online Learning Community.

Sept 12 - Overview of the Farmer/Rancher Grant - Debi Kelly, MO State SARE Coordinator

Sept 19 - SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant Webinar with Linda Hezel, a 2008 Grant Recipient of Comparison of Coverings over Permanent Raised Beds to Extend the Growing Season for Year Round Food Production

Sept 26 - SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant Webinar with Greg and Nancy Rasmussen, a 2010 Grant Recipient of Rainwater Capture and Re-use: Using Gravity and Solar Power

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