Farm Grants Available

September 3, 2008 at 7:00 am

The North Central Region (NCR) SARE program of the USDA has allocated funding for the 2008 Farmer/Rancher Grant Program. Competitive grants of up to $6,000 are available for individual farmers and ranchers, and grants up to $18,000 are available for groups of three or more farmers from separate operations who are interested in exploring sustainable agriculture. Farmers/Ranchers are invited to submit proposals that test, evaluate, and adapt sustainable agriculture practices for their operations; conduct learning circles, educational events, field days or demonstrations to further disseminate information to farmers/ranchers; develop new technologies; or create or modify equipment. These grants are for sustainable agriculture research and education projects; they are not for everyday farming expenses. Applicants must identify specific problems and potential solutions to those problem with a maximum duration for grant project of 21 months. Projects that involve whole farm systems and/or a youth component are encouraged.

Any farmer/rancher or group of farmers/ranchers may apply. Beginning farmers and/or youth may apply. Applicants may be just beginning the transition to a more sustainable operation or may already be using sustainable practices and want to implement additional changes. To qualify for a group project, there must be at least three farmers/ranchers involved who come from separate, independent operations. Groups submitting proposals must designate one individual farmer/rancher as group leader. The group leader will submit and sign the application, be responsible for reporting, and assume any tax liability associated with the grant.

In spring 2009, grant recipients can request an initial payment of 50% of their grant funds to start their projects. Grant recipients will receive a payment of 35% of grant funds after submitting a satisfactory progress report, and a final 15% payment when their project is completed and their final report is submitted and approved. Applications must be received by mail or e-mail in the NCR-SARE office by 4:30 pm (CST) on December 1, 2008. For more information visit or contact Andy Kleinschmidt at or 419-238-1214.

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