URBANA, Ill. - The 2014 North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) has announced that the call for proposals is now open for two grants offered by the program.
The two types of grants available include the Farmer Rancher Grant and the Youth Educator Grant.
Farmers and ranchers in the North Central Region are invited to submit grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch. Proposals should show how farmers and ranchers plan to use their own innovative ideas to explore sustainable agriculture options and how they will share project results.
Sustainable agriculture is good for the environment, profitable, and socially responsible. Projects should emphasize research or education/demonstration.
SARE has awarded a total of 111 grants representing more than $2.7 million in Illinois since 1988, including 55 farmer rancher grants. For example, Jody and Beth Osmund received an NCR-SARE farmer rancher grant that helped them purchase a market trailer and a cold-plate refrigeration unit as the foundation of their meat CSA and farmers market sales at Cedar Valley Farm.
The three types of competitive grants for farmers/ranchers include: individual grants ($7,500 maximum), partner grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($15,000 maximum), and group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($22,500 maximum). NCR-SARE expects to fund about 45 projects in the 12-state North Central Region with this call. A total of approximately $400,000 is available for this program.
Youth Educator Grant projects provide opportunities for youth in the North Central Region to learn more about sustainable agriculture (farming and ranching that is ecologically sound, profitable, and socially responsible). Educators use the grants to encourage young people and their parents to try sustainable practices and see sustainable agriculture as a viable career option.
NCR-SARE projects also help youth discover that sustainable farming and ranching is profitable; good for families, communities, and their quality of life; and good for the environment long term. The maximum amount for grants is $2,000, and a total of approximately $20,000 is available for this program.
New this year, NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Farmer Rancher Grant and Youth Educator Grant programs. More information about the online submission system can be found in the call for proposals.
Proposals for the Farmer Ranch Grant are due Thursday, Nov.14, at 4 p.m. CST. Proposals for the Young Educator Grant are due Friday, Nov. 1, at 4 p.m. CST.
Interested applicants can find the call for proposals online as well as useful information for completing a proposal at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Types-of-Grants/Farmer-Rancher-Grant-Program for the Farmer Ranch Grant or http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Our-Grant-Programs/Youth-Educator-Grant-Program for the Youth Educator Grant.
Find more information about sustainable agriculture at http://www.sare.org/ or by taking a free National Continuing Education Program online course about the basic concepts at http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Courses-and-Curricula.