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Grants available for sustainable agriculture research and education


EAST LANSING, MI. — Apply now for grants of up to $250,000 from USDA north central region sustainable agriculture research and education (NCR-SARE). The funding supports innovations in environmental sustainability, economic viability and social benefits on farms. Farmers, ranchers, educators, farm advocacy organizations, MSU extension staff, researchers and agriculture professionals are welcome to apply. Grants that are currently open include farmer rancher grants, research and education grants, partnership grants and youth educator grants.  

Grant writing assistance is available free of charge for all four sustainable farm grant programs.  

Michigan SARE coordinator Sarah Fronczak and Katie Brandt from the MSU student organic farm are both available to advise applicants, review proposals and support people who are interested in applying for NCR-SARE grants. Email froncza3@msu.edu or brandtk7@msu.edu with questions, to have a proposal reviewed or to set up a time to discuss your proposal idea.  

Four grant programs are currently accepting applications:  

• Farmer rancher grants – Up to $15,000 for one farm or $30,000 for two or more farm entities to design and lead research, demonstration, and education projects in sustainable farm practices. (Due December 1, 2022)  

• Research and education grants – $10,000 to $250,000 for on farm research, farmer education and other projects that “explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, socially responsible food and/or fiber systems.” (Pre-proposals are due October 13, 2022) 

• Partnership grants – Up to $50,000 for farm educators and agriculture professionals who partner with three or more farmers to research, demonstrate, educate or collaborate on issues important to sustainable farming. (Due October 20, 2022) 

• Youth educator grants – Up to $6,000 for projects that teach youth about sustainable agriculture and careers in sustainable agriculture. (Due November 10, 2022) 

North Central SARE also funds graduate student grants and professional development grants. Calls for proposals for these two grants will be released in February of 2023.  

NCR-SARE aims to strengthen communities, increase profitability and improve the environment through grants and education. SARE has distributed $8,652,539 to fund 296 grant projects in Michigan since 1988. The program aims to support diversity, equity and inclusion in food and agriculture systems. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity including gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program or political beliefs.