Southern SARE has long supported farmers in their efforts to conduct new and innovative sustainable agriculture production practices. In 2002, Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants were authorized to provide opportunities for those ag professionals working directly with farmers and ranchers on sustainable ag efforts.
Emphasizing relationship building between researcher and farmer, On-Farm Research Grants have no pre-proposal requirements, nor are applicants asked to demonstrate specific outcomes in an intensive way.
Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant proposals must meet the following basic requirements in order to be considered for funding:
- The proposed project focuses on sustainable agriculture practices and techniques to address a particular on-farm issue.
- Applicants must work directly with farmers/ranchers in their profession.
- Applicants must identify at least one farmer/rancher cooperator in the proposed project, and the work must be conducted on farm (either on the cooperator’s farm, or on a research farm with the cooperator’s involvement).
- The farmer/rancher cooperator’s primary occupation must be farming or ranching or they are a part-time producer. They run their own farm alone or with family or partners and have at $1,000 of documented annual income from their operation.
- The proposed project satisfies the requirements of allowable expenses.
- An outreach component is identified in the proposal.
Who Can Apply?
Agricultural professionals who currently and regularly work with farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for On-Farm Research Grants. These can be extension specialists; university researchers; government agencies, such as NRCS; NGOs; community organizations; or other groups or individuals. An applicant may only submit one proposal per grant cycle.
Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants are not open to farmers.
On-Farm Research Grant Calls for Proposals open September and grants are awarded in February the following calendar year. On-Farm Research Grant project maximums are $20,000 for two-year projects. SSARE recommends two-year projects; it is difficult to extrapolate useable, replicable, practicable data from one-year research.