Apply for a Grant
Are you interested in becoming a project coordinator for a NCR-SARE grant? If so, and if you live in one of the following states, this information is for you. The North Central Region consists of: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For information on National SARE program, Western Region SARE, Southern Region SAREor Northeast Region SARE.
Steps to apply for a NCR-SARE Grant
- Determine which SARE grant program is right for you: the Research and Education Grant Program, the Farmer Rancher Grant Program, the Graduate Student Grant Program, the Youth Educator Grant Program and/or the Professional Development Grant Program (PDP).
- Search the national SARE database of projects to review previously funded grants in your topic area.
- Get a copy of the NCR-SARE call for proposals from the appropriate program and ask to be put on the regional mailing list for future calls.
- Determine the relevant deadline for the grant program(s) from which you seek funding.
- See our online tips for formulating and writing proposals.
- Contact potential collaborators and develop proposal ideas.
- Get help with proposal writing, if necessary. The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) and Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) are two organizations that can help you with literature reviews and background research. View the USDA Budget Guidelines to help you correctly compose your budget. The NCR-SARE office can also answer questions and provide samples of proposals.
- Submit your proposal, following all guidelines, prior to the specified deadline.
Sample Calls for Proposals
These are previous year's calls for proposals and are intended for informational purposes only. You must follow instructions in the current year's call for proposals. The format specified in the call for proposals and forms are a little different each year. Timelines for the grant programs are listed here.
Read a sample Farmer Rancher Program Call for Proposals here.
Read a sample Research and Education Program Call for Preproposals here.
Read a sample Professional Development Program Call for Preproposals here.
Read a sample Graduate Student Program Call for Proposals here.
Read a sample Youth Educator Program Call for Proposals here.
Read a sample Partnership Call for Proposals here.
Funding considerations are made based on how well the applicant articulates the nature of the research and education components of their sustainable agriculture grant proposals. NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. A collection of farm and non-farm citizens, the AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, and nonprofit organizations.
In addition, regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and NCR agribusinesses, state agencies, and foundations sit at the table to distribute grant money.
Since 1988, the USDA's NCR-SARE program has awarded more than $40 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Other Sources of Funding
- Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities lists funding opportunities offered by federal programs, and is indispensable for anyone seeking government help to foster their innovative enterprise in forestry and agriculture. Hard copies of the guide can be ordered from NCAT's website for a small handling fee.
- The more in-depth Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs is available online through the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.