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Apply for a Grant

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The ins and outs of applying for a SARE competitive grant

SARE grants are used to increase knowledge about sustainable agricultural practices and to help farmers and ranchers adopt those practices. The Western SARE program administers grants in several categories that help it achieve those aims. Each grant operates on an annual cycle and is selected through a competitive process.

Applicants are typically informed whether their project has been approved for funding within six months of the submission deadline. Dispersal of funds rests on Congressional budget decisions.

Research and Education (R&E) Grants- Also known as Chapter 1 grants, they average around $150,000 in size but can be smaller or greater, depending on the proposed project. R&E grants fund projects that typically involve scientists, producers, ag support agencies, nonprofit organizations and others in an interdisciplinary approach. Requests for Pre-applications are issued in April. Following the scrutiny of a technical review, the best pre-applications are asked to submit full applications, due in November. The Western SARE Administrative Council, aided by staff and highly skilled and knowledgeable subject matter experts, selects projects for funding early the following year.

Farmer/Rancher (FRG) Grants- These are conducted by agricultural producers, with support and guidance from a technical advisor. Individual farmers may apply for up to $15,000 and a group of three or more farmers may apply for up to $30,000. Producers use their grants to conduct on-site experiments that can be shared with other producers. Projects may also focus on marketing and organic production. A technical review is held in January, and the grant awards are announced in the spring.

Professional + Producer Grants- These grants are similar to those for Farmer/Rancher Grants, except that an agricultural professional, such as an extension educator or NRCS professional, coordinates the project, and farmers or ranchers serve as technical advisors. A technical review of proposed projects is held in January and the grants are announced in the spring.

Professional Development Program (PDP) Grants- Also known as Chapter 3 grants, these are designed to help university and other agricultural professionals spread knowledge to producers about sustainable concepts and practices. Applicants may seek up to $30,000 for one-year projects and $60,000 for two-year projects in a single state or locale. For regional or multi-state projects, applicants may seek up to $60,000 for one year and $100,000 for two years. Applications are reviewed in January, and projects selected for funding are announced in the spring.

Graduate Fellow Grants in Sustainable Agriculture- These grants are funded up to $20,000 to assist graduate students in pursuing their advanced degrees. The grant may last for up to two years and a student may apply for only one grant during the course of his or her study. Applicants must be enrolled full time (according to the institution's requirements) at an accredited college or university in the Western region. Applications are submitted in the spring and reviewed in the summer, and grants are awarded in the fall.

Application Forms

Submit an online research and Education Pre-Application

Visit Western SARE Grant Application Form.