NCR SARE Producer & Educator Fall Grant Deadlines

Nate Thompson prepares to launch a drone used in an NCR SARE-funded on-farm research project to assess using drone sensors for in-season nitrogen management. (Photo by Gary Lesoing)
Nate Thompson prepares to launch a drone used in an NCR SARE-funded on-farm research project to assess using drone sensors for in-season nitrogen management. (Photo by Gary Lesoing)

NCR SARE Producer & Educator Fall Grant Deadlines October 15, 2018

Application deadlines are approaching for several competitive grant programs offered by USDA's North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. They include the Partnership Grant Program, Youth Educator Grant Program, and the Farmer Rancher Grant Program.

NCR SARE logo

Information and forms for applying for each of these programs are available at https://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Our-Grant-Programs, said Gary Lesoing Nebraska extension educator and Nebraska state SARE coordinator.

"These grant programs offer producers an opportunity to try new strategies and management practices to make their operation more sustainable. They can test something on a small scale, working by themselves or with other farmers or educators to see what works best under their conditions. Then they can expand on what they learned in future years."

NCR SARE supports projects that are economically feasible, socially responsible, and environmentally sound, Lesoing said, including ones that help improve a grower's quality of life.

Previous topics have looked at soil health, cover crops, erosion reduction, alternative crops and system benefits, pulse crops, in-season nitrogen management using sensors and drones, and more.

Grant Categories

Partnership Grant. Developed to foster cooperation between small groups of farmers or ranchers and ag professionals (university researchers and extension professionals, crop consultants, NRD staff, the ag industry, and ag agency people) with grants of up to $40,000 to conduct on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Application deadline: October 24. 

Youth Educator Grant Program. For 4-H youth educators and/or vocational agriculture instructors, grants of up to $4,000 are available to help youth learn about farming and ranching methods that are ecologically sound, profitable, and socially responsible. Application deadline: November 15.

Farmer Rancher Grant Program. For those who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects, grants are offered for individuals ($9,000 maximum), team of two ($18,000 maximum), or a group ($27,000 maximum). Among recent Nebraska recipients were the Dean Stevens Farm, featured in this CropWatch article, and farmers Paul Ackley and Mike McDonald, who studied "The Economic Analysis of Cover Crops, Soil Health, the role of Livestock and Impact on Moisture." Application deadline: Dec. 6.

Online resources are available to help those applying for an NCR SARE grant:

For more information on the NCR SARE program in Nebraska contact Gary Lesoing, Nebraska extension educator and Nebraska State SARE coordinator at (402) 274-4755 or glesoing2@unl.edu.