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On-Farm Research Grants

Grants to USA Agricultural Professionals in Multiple
States for Farm-Based Sustainability Research

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE)

Deadline Date:

12/06/19 5:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $15,000 to Southern USA and territories agricultural professionals who work with farmers and ranchers for farm-based research and marketing projects addressing sustainable agriculture. Funding is intended for projects that take place in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands. Projects must be conducted on farm.

The following 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Alternate Crops/Animals: Developing alternative crops, animals or products that help a producer’s operation become more economically sustainable.  These projects must be at least as environmentally sustainable as the existing crops, animals and products they supplement or replace.
  3. 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.
  4. Sustainable Marketing Projects: Developing markets for existing or alternative crops, animals or products.
  5. Sustainable Grazing Systems: Use of native grass species and or plant/animal management systems to make grazing systems more sustainable.
  6. Soil Organic Matter Building/Protection/Management: Projects that increase the sustainability of farming systems by developing soil organic matter and soil biota.
  7. 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.
  8. Appropriate Technology: Projects that develop a device or piece of machinery that promotes sustainable agriculture and can’t be purchased off the shelf.  The device or machinery must have application for farmers/ranchers, be able to be built by them and enable them to operate more sustainably.
  9. Agroforestry: 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.

On-Farm Research Grant funds may be used for the following purposes:

  •  Costs of sampling and sample analysis;
  •  Renting equipment needed for the project;
  •  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 educational events, such as field days.

Additional requirements:

  • 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.
  • Successful proposals include clear goals and objectives, and outreach plans; all related to sustainable agriculture projects.
  • On-Farm Research Grant projects should be innovative, generate results that are useful beyond one year, and produce information that many farmers can use.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162412

Number of Grants:

SSARE funds about 6 proposals each year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The project maximum for On-Farm Research Grants is $15,000.

Term of Contract:

On-Farm Research Grants support up to two years of research.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Agricultural professionals who currently and regularly work with farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for On-Farm Research Grants. These can be Extension specialists, university researchers, NRCS, NGOs, or other organizations. Projects must be conducted on farm.

These grants are not open to farmers.

On-Farm Research Grant funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:
- Starting or expanding a farm, farming operation 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, etc.;
- Lunches or other full meals at field days or large gatherings;
- Testing of commercial products.

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline is Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST. Proposals must now be submitted only on the SSARE On-Farm Research Grant On-Line Proposal Submission Web Site.

You do not need to submit the signed signature page by the deadline. After the proposal deadline please scan and send the signed signature page as an email attachment to Sandra Blackwell

On-Farm Research Grants Schedule
-September: Calls for On-Farm Research Grant Proposals Released
-November: On-Farm Research Grant Proposals Due
-February: On-Farm Research Grants Awarded

Seek assistance in writing your grant and have someone review your application. Several organizations from Cooperative Extension to USDA to NGOs offer resources on writing grants. Contact your SARE state ag coordinator or your local Cooperative Extension office as a potential starting point:

Application procedures:

Budget proposal checklists:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Sandra Blackwell
(770) 229-3212

Southern SARE
1109 Experiment St., Stuckey Building
University of Georgia
Griffin, Ga. 30223
Ph: 770-412-4786
Fax: 770-412-4789

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Arkansas;   Florida;   Georgia;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Mississippi;   North Carolina;   Oklahoma;   South Carolina;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Virginia

USA Territories: Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)