NSAC's Blog

Program Roundup – Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program

February 6, 2015

Editor’s Note — This is the latest in a series of periodic blog posts on the latest happenings in each Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) regions as they roll out project solicitations and announce grant awards.

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education or SARE program is a farmer driven research and education competitive grants program designed to help advance sustainable agriculture across the whole of American agriculture. SARE is administered through four regional councils of producers, researchers, educators, and government representatives that set SARE policies and make grants:

SARE’s four regional offices administer three primary grant programs, Research and Education, Professional Development, and Producer Grants. Some regions also offer additional grants for community innovation, graduate student research, agricultural professional conducting on-farm research, and region-specific initiatives.

North Central SARE News

The 2015 NCR-SARE Professional Development Program Call for Proposals is now available online. NCR-SARE’s Professional Development Program (PDP) provides funds for professional development projects that provide sustainable agriculture training to agricultural professionals and educators in the Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), other governmental agencies, and educators in the profit and non-profit sector serving the food and fiber system. The deadline for proposals is 4:00 pm CDT on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Projects can be up to three years in duration, and funding level is capped at $75,000 total for each project, but projects requesting less than full amount are encouraged. Approximately $675,000 will be available for funding projects this year.

A special aspect of the 2015 NCR-SARE PDP call for proposals is that up to $450,000 of the total pool of funds is available for projects focused on cover crops and soil health. Proposals on other topics relevant to sustainable agriculture will also be considered for funding. More details can be found in the call for proposals.

Check out all of North Central SARE’s grant opportunities here.

NCR-SARE is seeking nominees for the following seats on its Administrative Council (AC) as follows:

  • At-large representative of an agriculture college or university
  • Farmer/Rancher
  • Representative of a state department of agriculture
  • Representative of agribusiness

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council represents various agricultural sectors, states and organizations. It sets program priorities and makes granting decisions for the region. Find out more here.

For the second year in a row, a national survey of farmers has documented a yield boost from the use of cover crops in corn and soybeans, as well as a wide variety of other benefits. The survey—which was funded by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and carried out by the Conservation Technology Information Center — also details the challenges and benefits farmers expect from cover crops, data on the costs of seed and establishment, and insight into how farmers learn to manage cover crops. Read the full report here.

Southern SARE News

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released the 2015 Call for Proposals for Graduate Student Grants. Graduate Student Grants are one of the few sustainable agriculture research funding opportunities open to Ph.D. and Master’s students at accredited institutions in the Southern region. Proposal submission deadline is May 4, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Research projects that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the Southern region are eligible for submission. Maximum funds awarded for projects are $11,000 for up to three years work on the student’s project. Visit the Southern SARE website for additional information on Graduate Student Grants. Grant awards are announced in late August.

Visit the Southern SARE website for more information on sustainable agriculture and other grant funding opportunities or check out the 2014 Index Report listing final projects and on-going projects for each grant they offer. The Index is an annual publication that contains the complete portfolio of projects for any given year.

Find out more about Southern SARE at the Georgia Organics Conference in Athens Georgia February 20 and 21.

Western SARE News

Western SARE releases latest “From the Field” publication, Sustainable Livestock Grazing Management. This report highlights four successful Western SARE-funded projects addressing livestock grazing on rangelands and riparian areas. Western SARE has played a key role in addressing the research needs of livestock producers. In 26 years, Western SARE has funded over 90 projects related to livestock management in the western states. A significant portion of this portfolio addresses sustainable grazing management on rangelands and in riparian areas. The four projects highlighted in this publication represent high quality research conducted in collaboration with producers and the effective outreach that gets research results into the hands of producers, agriculture professionals, and land managers.

The Western SARE Administrative Council approved $2,403,733 in funding 29 projects in 10 states and protectorates in spring 2014. Check out the summaries of Research & Education, Graduate Student, Farmer/Rancher, Professional + Producer and Professional Development sustainable agriculture projects.

Additionally, the Western SARE Administrative Council approved nine graduate student projects for 2015. Read summaries of projects addressing native bees, livestock production, CSAs, grass-legume mixtures, and more.

Northeast SARE News

Proposals are currently being accepted for graduate student grants due by midnight on May 12, 2015. Graduate Student proposals should address issues of current or potential importance to Northeast farmers and farm service professionals such as NRCS staff, Cooperative Extension, and researchers.Projects should explore the sustainable the themes of good stewardship, profitability, and quality of life for farmers and the farm community. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years.


Categories: Grants and Programs, Research, Education & Extension

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