Western SARE: Research and Education Grants

Western SARE


Grant amount: Up to US $250,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jun 1, 2018 12:00pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Nov 1, 2018 12:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Individuals

Funding uses: Research

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

Location of residency: United States

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Overview:

SARE's vision is an enduring American agriculture of the highest quality. This agriculture is profitable, protects the nation's land and water and is a force for a rewarding way of life for farmers and ranchers whose quality products and operations sustain their communities and society.


SARE's mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education.


Western SARE

The Western SARE Administrative Council selects outstanding pre-proposals for funding that conduct novel research and extension/outreach projects to obtain data, develop conclusions, demonstrate technologies, and lead educational programs that promote the 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 long- term:

  • 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 nonrenewable 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 Grants in Sustainable Agriculture

Western SARE encourages research and education that:

  • Studies farms that have been, and will continue to be, managed using production practices that rely on sustainable and other conservation practices
  • Takes advantage of the experience and expertise of farmers and ranchers through their direct participation and leadership in projects
  • Transfers practical, reliable, and timely information to farmers and ranchers concerning sustainable farming practices and systems
  • Studies, to the maximum extent practicable, agricultural production systems that are located in areas that possess various soil, climate, and physical characteristics
  • Promotes a partnership between farmers/ranchers, nonprofit organizations, agribusinesses, and public and private research and extension institutions
  • Creates market opportunities that increase the producer’s share of the food dollar.

Submitted project ideas should include activities that represent the full diversity of agricultural production systems (including family operations), mixed crop-livestock operations, and dairy operations. Projects should involve on-farm research and demonstration activities. Studies related to regional economic, social, and environmental implications of the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and systems are also encouraged.


Long term vs. Short Term Projects:

Research & Education Grants are usually 1–3 years in length. Funding varies and there is no set funding limit, but awards generally do not exceed $250,000 across three years. 


Some research and extension/outreach work is complex and requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that may take many years to complete. To be effective, these projects are likely to exceed the time limits of Western SARE’s normal one to three year funding cycle. There will be opportunity for competitive renewal of long-term projects, but not for short-term projects. 


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

Eligibility:

      • General requirements for Research & Education proposals:
        • Incorporate research and education within the scope of the project.
        • Demonstrate a functional team to plan and implement the project.
        • Include a minimum of three producers for on-farm testing, demonstration, and collaboration.
        • Detailed educational outreach plans to producers and agricultural professionals.
        • Create scholarly and other educational materials.
        • Address Western SARE goals.
      • Submitted project ideas should include activities that represent the full diversity of agricultural production systems (including family operations), mixed crop-livestock operations, and dairy operations.
      • Projects should involve on-farm research and demonstration activities. 
        • Official USDA Definition of a Farm: A farm is defined as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year. 
      • All funded projects must include a project team and must include a minimum of the following participants: 
        • The Principal Investigator— assembles the team and directs the project through completion  
        • Extension/outreach representative or equivalent  
        • Three Producers—one of the producers will be designated as the “advisor representative” and will be involved in all aspects of the project from idea inception through completion. Each of the three producers must be independent and separate operators. 
          • NOTE: A person is a producer (farmer/rancher) if any of the following apply:
            • Primary occupation is farming or ranching
            • Have a farm/ranch tax number
            • Are producers with at least $1,000 documented annual income from farming or ranching activities.  
            • Each of the three producers must be independent and separate operators.
      • The Administrative Council requires evidence that agricultural producers (farmers/ranchers) are partners from start to finish in the choice of topics, planning, design, implementation, and educational outreach of any SARE-funded Research and Education project. Token representation is unacceptable and not fundable.
      • The Project must:
        • 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.

        Preferences:

        • Studies related to regional economic, social, and environmental implications of the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and systems 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.