Southern SARE: On-Farm Research Grant

Southern Sustainable Agriculture, Research & Education (SARE)

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Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Deadline: Dec 6, 2019 2:00pm PST

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Government Entity Working Professional College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia (US state), Kentucky Show all

Location of residency: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia (US state), Kentucky Show all

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The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program recognizes the value and importance of On-Farm Research in developing solutions to agricultural production problems. In recognition of this, the Southern Region SARE Program is requesting grant proposals from Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel, university personnel, governmental and/or non-governmental organization (NGO) personnel who regularly work with farmers/ranchers and are interested in conducting on-farm research projects related to sustainable agriculture.

Focus Areas

The focus areas have been chosen by the On-farm Research Grant Committee as areas needing investigation.  These focus areas elaborate topics for applicants who are in need of information on research areas of interest to the SARE On-Farm Research Grant program. 

 Beneficial Insect Habitat

  • Developing cover crops or other plant mixes and locations that provide habitat (refuges) that keep populations of native beneficial insects living on the farm ready to attack crop pests as they occur.

Alternative Crops/Animals 

  • Developing cover crops or other plant mixes and locations that provide habitat (refuges) that keep populations of native beneficial insects living on the farm ready to attack crop pests as they occur.

 Organic Agriculture 

  • Projects that address the production, distribution, marketing and consumption of organic farm products.  This includes farmers adding value to organic products. Research into farming systems and practices that make use of on-farm biological cycles for soil, plant and pest management.

Sustainable Marketing Projects

  •  Developing markets for existing or alternative crops, animals or products.

Sustainable Grazing Systems

  • Use of native grass species and or plant/animal management systems to make grazing systems more sustainable.

Soil Organic Matter Building/protection/management

  • Projects that increase the sustainability of farming systems by developing soil organic matter and soil biota.

Increasing Sustainability Of Existing Farming Practices 

  • Any practice or system that increases the sustainability of an existing farming practice. The results should be able to be used by other farmers.

Appropriate Technology 

  • Projects that develop a device or piece of machinery that promotes sustainable agriculture and can’t be purchased off the shelf.  


  • Studies are needed that demonstrate and quantify the feasibility of establishing agroforestry in the region.  Information on the performance of various forage combinations under shaded conditions is needed.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • An applicant may only submit ONE proposal to the SSARE On-Farm Research Grant Program in one grant cycle.
  • Must be from The Southern Region:
    • Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands.
  • On-Farm Research Grant Projects must be developed, coordinated and led by Extension, NRCS, governmental or non-governmental organization (NGO) or University personnel who regularly work with farmers/ranchers.
  • On-Farm Research Grant proposals must include at least one farmer/rancher project cooperator and the project must be conducted on that cooperator’s farm.
  • On-Farm Research Grant funds may be used for the following purposes:
    • Costs of sampling and sample analysis,
    • Materials and supplies needed for the project
    • Outreach expenses such as holding a field day,
    • Travel needed for the project,
    • Hired labor, including farmer/rancher labor beyond their normal farming duties,
    • Refreshments at field days


  • If you are a farmer/rancher or an organization of farmers/ranchers, you are not eligible to apply for an On-Farm Research Grant.  
  • On-Farm Research Grant funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:
    • Starting or expanding a farm, farming operation, business or NGO
    • Buying equipment
    • Permanent improvements to a farm or ranch, e.g. planting an orchard, buying a herd, permanent fencing, permanent irrigation, permanent greenhouses or buildings
    • Lunches or other full meals at field days or large gatherings
    • Testing of commercial products