Farmer Rancher Grant Program
About the Farmer Rancher Grant Program
Farmers and ranchers have a critical insight when it comes to improving their systems. Whether they need to limit off-farm inputs, reduce erosion, create more time for family or community activities, learn marketing skills, or find other ways to enhance their livelihoods, farmers and ranchers can turn to the North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) for grant opportunities and information. In 1992, NCR-SARE began a competitive Farmer Rancher Grant Program exclusively to fund farmers and ranchers striving for agricultural sustainability.
NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.
Farmer Rancher grants have funded a variety of topics including pest/disease management, crop and livestock production, education/outreach, networking, quality of life issues, marketing, soil quality, energy, and more.
Funding decisions are made by NCR-SARE's regional Administrative Council, after receiving feedback from a review committee. The Administrative Council is a collection of farmers, ranchers, university representatives, nonprofit representatives, Extension and NRCS people, other government employees, and agribusiness representatives. This group sets research priorities and recommends projects for funding.
Before writing a grant proposal, determine a clear project goal and explore previous research. It often helps to contact NCR-SARE, local agriculture groups, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and/or Extension educators to share ideas and invite participation.
NCR-SARE can provide grant applications, reports from other projects, lists of funded projects, or other sustainable agriculture information. Current calls will be posted in the "Open Grant Programs" box on the right side of this page. To receive more information about the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program proposal process and timeline, contact the NCR-SARE office.
- Farmer Rancher grants are offered as individual ($7,500 maximum), team of two ($15,000 maximum), or group ($22,500 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers.
- Projects may last up to 24 months.
- About 40 projects are funded each year.
- A sample of the calls for proposals is available throughout the year, but you should always consult the current call for proposals when applying.
- The annual portfolio of producer grants proposals is reviewed and awarded on an annual timeline.
- Grants support producers who are protecting natural resources, enhancing communities, and boosting profitability.
- Farmers and Ranchers are exploring innovative marketing of sustainable agriculture projects, in addition to other project topics.
- Outreach and networking multiplies producer project results.
- If you are a farmer or rancher, or if you work with producers, please consider getting involved.
- If you are a youth educator, take a look at our Youth Educator Grant Program.
NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program Tutorials
Click here to view a video or PowerPoint presentation about completing a proposal for NCR-SARE's Farmer Rancher grant program.
Previously Funded Projects
Click here to view previous calls and previously funded projects.
The Farmer Rancher Grant Program has a full-time producer liaison, Joan Benjamin. Feel free to contact Joan Benjamin with any questions about this program.
Follow the link to view a map of Farmer Rancher grant projects across the North Central Region.