Western SARE: Research and Education Grants

Western SARE

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Grant amount: Up to US $250,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 28, 2020 11:00am PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Individuals

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Micronesia, Federated States Of; Alaska; American Samoa; Arizona; California Show all

Location of residency: United States

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The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education  (SARE) program announces the Call for Pre-proposals for Research & Education grants for 2019.

Producer Involvement

Congress mandates that the SARE grant program depart from  “business as usual.” To that end, the Western SARE  Administrative Council requires evidence that agricultural  producers are involved from inception to finish in the planning, design, implementation and educational outreach of any SARE-funded project.

Western SARE Goals

  • Promote good stewardship of the nation’s natural resources by providing site-specific, regional and profitable sustainable farming and ranching methods that strengthen agricultural competitiveness; satisfy human food and fiber needs; maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of soil; conserve soil, water, energy, natural resources and fish and wildlife habitat; and maintain and improve the quality of surface and ground water.
  • Enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities, for example, by increasing income and employment, especially profitable self-employment and innovative marketing opportunities in agricultural and rural communities.
  • Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems by reducing, where feasible and practical, the use of toxic materials in agricultural production, and by optimizing on-farm resources and integrating, where appropriate, biological cycles and controls.
  • Promote crop, livestock, and enterprise diversification.  
  • Examine the regional, economic, social  and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems.

Sustainable Agriculture

Congress has defined sustainable  agriculture as an integrated system  of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will over the longterm:

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole

Western SARE Research and Education Pre-Proposal Applications in Sustainable Agriculture


Western SARE funds proposals that examine innovative research technologies and creative extension approaches that advance Western SARE goals (above) and are economically viable, protect the environment, and are socially responsible. Western SARE projects must contain both research and education components. Projects that contain only research, or only education, will not be funded. Additionally, Western SARE requires that agricultural producers be involved from inception to finish in the planning, design, implementation and educational outreach of any SARE-funded project.


Projects may be 1 to 3 years in length. There is no set funding limit, but awards generally should not exceed $350,000 across three years. 

Long-Term vs. Short-Term

Some research/extension work is complex and may require a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that takes many years to complete. To be effective, these projects are likely to exceed the time limits of Western SARE’s normal 1 to 3-year funding cycle. Projects that are long-term (more than 3 years) should identify themselves as a long-term project by checking the appropriate box in the on-line portion of the pre-proposal application. Short-term projects are those that can be completed within the three year funding cycle.

Long-term projects that are funded will receive their funding in three-year increments. Each additional increment (up to 3 years) of funding will still go through a competitive full proposal process, but will bypass the pre-proposal process. Long-term projects are eligible for additional increments of funding if the following report criteria are met and approved and funding is available:

  • Reports are submitted in a timely manner;
  • Yearly objectives are reported on, and met (as listed in the approved proposal);
  •  Yearly measurable milestones are reported on, and met (as listed in the approved proposal)

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


  • Requirements for Research & Education Pre-Proposals
    • Incorporate both research and education in the project.
    • Bring together a functional team to plan and implement the project.
    • Include a minimum of three separate producers for onfarm testing, demonstration and collaboration.
    • Outline educational outreach plans to producers and  agricultural professionals.
    • Produce quantifiable scholarly and educational products to producers and agricultural professionals.
    • Address the goals of Western SARE.
  • Eligible Applicants:
    • Anyone that has the capability to conduct both research and outreach activities  is eligible to apply.
    • Multi-state and multi-agency collaborations are encouraged.


  • Priority will be given to projects that:
    • Closely coordinate both research and extension/outreach activities
    • Indicate how findings will be made readily usable by farmers/ranchers and other intended audiences
    • Maximize the direct and meaningful involvement of farmers/ranchers
    • Use an interdisciplinary team approach
    • Include close cooperation between farmers/ranchers, along with nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and government agencies.