Calling All Experimenters, Tinkerers, and Innovators: SARE Has Funding for You!


Participants spread wildflower seeds that will become pollinator habitat at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm as a part of a SARE-funded project. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Participants spread wildflower seeds that will become pollinator habitat at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm as a part of a SARE-funded project. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Did you know the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program offers grants directly to farmers?

Through it’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program, SARE funds individual or groups of farmers to test solutions to their sustainable farming challenges. For example, grants could be awarded to try out an innovative erosion control technique or pest management regime. These grants are designed to produce research that other farmers in your community can use as well.

While these grants cannot be used for farm startup costs, capital improvements, or land acquisition, they can be used to fund the costs associated with the project. These costs might include supplies, outreach materials, consulting fees (for technical experts), and compensation for the farmer’s time. For individuals, grant awards are capped between $7,500 and $15,000, depending on your region. More funding may be available for a group of farmers working together.

Examples of past projects include:

  • Constructing a Goat Proof Natural Hedge Fence
  • A Comparison and Evaluation of Heritage and Broad-Breasted Turkeys on Pasture
  • Sustainable Method of Protecting Western Redcedar from Deer Browsing
  • Cultivation of Gourmet Mushrooms Using Brewer’s Spent Grain
  • A Comparison of Traditional Nitrogen and Nutrient-Dense Fertilization Regimes in Organic Potato Production

Before you apply, be sure to get in contact with your regional SARE office. SARE divides the country into four regions, each based at a university. These offices can give you a better idea of their funding priorities and how to increase the likelihood your application will get funded.

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