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Youth Educator Grant Program

Grants to USA Educators in Multiple States to
Promote Youth Engagement in Sustainable Agriculture

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE)

Deadline Date:

11/15/18 4:00 PM CDT


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Grants of up to $4,000 to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin educators to teach youth about sustainable agriculture. Consideration will be given to projects that encourage youth and their parents to engage with sustainable practices and view sustainable agriculture as a viable career option.

Successful proposals:

1. Clearly explain how youth will learn about sustainable agriculture practices and careers. Proposals are specific and let reviewers know which sustainable agriculture practices and career options will be taught and how.

2. Involve farmers and ranchers in planning the project and teaching.

3. Emphasize collaboration with others who can assist with outreach as well as project planning, implementation, and evaluation. Cooperators may include other educators, farmers, ranchers, parents, students, Extension, Natural Resource Conservation Service, staff of local or state nonprofit groups, etc.

4. Share project results with other educators through field days, presentations, posters, publications, social media, videos, websites, workshops, and more.

Projects should 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. NCR-SARE encourages you to be creative and innovative, and to work directly with local farmers and ranchers who practice Sustainable Agriculture. Please note: 21st Century Farming involves growing food and fiber and can include market gardens and urban agriculture.

Sustainable Agriculture is farming and ranching that is ecologically sound, profitable, and socially responsible. Sustainable Agriculture practices may include but are not limited to:
-Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
-Rotational Grazing (including Management-intensive Grazing & Mob Grazing)
-Soil Erosion Control
-Soil Quality Improvement
-Water Quality Improvement/Wetlands
-Cover Crops
-Crop/Landscape Diversity
-Nutrient Management
-Value-Added and Direct Marketing
-Holistic/Systems Approaches to Farming and Ranching
-Wildlife Preservation
-Beneficial Insects
-Poultry and Small-Scale Livestock Production
-Organic Agriculture
-Proactive Weed Control (For example: interseeded cover crops, use of crop rotation, planting row crops in warm soil)

Sampler of Project Ideas:

1. Organize a tour of sustainable farms or ranches where youth can interact with farmers/ranchers and see, smell, feel, and taste what Sustainable Agriculture is all about. Include beginning farmers and ranchers and have students find out how they got started and why.

2. Work with youth to organize a local foods meal where they help plan the menu, source the food, meet and interview the farmers and ranchers who produce the food and the cooks or chefs who prepare it. Have students write articles for social media that describe the food and where it comes from.

3. Start a school or community farm that uses sustainable farming practices and provides local food for the school cafeteria. Have students give tours of the site and explain sustainable practices they use such as making and using compost and encouraging beneficial insects.

4. Invite farmers/ranchers to school or a community event for a presentation on Sustainable Agriculture practices such as management-intensive grazing, crop rotation, cover crops, organic farming, and direct marketing. Find out why they use sustainable techniques. Have students carry out a project suggested by the farmers/ranchers such as creating a marketing campaign for a new value-added product.

5. Have students organize a Sustainable Agriculture panel discussion with farmers/ranchers. Ask students to research local farms/ranches, issue invitations, prepare questions that explore profitability, environmental stewardship, and quality of life on the farm or ranch. Have students write articles for the school website or use social media to explain what they’ve learned.

6. Organize a visit to a farmers market where students can purchase local foods and interview local farmers about the sustainable practices and marketing techniques they use. Have farmers/ranchers and chefs teach the students how to cook a meal with their purchases, then share the meal. Ask students to compare the practices and techniques and share their findings with other students and the community.

7. Plan sustainable farm or ranch visits where youth work on sustainable farms, ranches, or community gardens, and share local-foods meals with the people who raised the food.

8. Review Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Programs for K-12 Youth and choose a program or series of programs or lessons to present to students.

9. Hold a Sustainable Agriculture Film Festival and have students write film reviews. Have discussions about the films and invite sustainable farmers and ranchers and agriculture journalists to serve as panelists and facilitators.

10. Organize a Youth Program for a Sustainable Agriculture conference, festival, or other event.

11. Work with an organization that supports Sustainable Agriculture such as Slow Food USA or the
American Livestock Breed Conservancy to expand youth involvement.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163676

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Educators can request up to $4,000 for youth education projects.

Term of Contract:

If funded, you have up to 24 months to complete your project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

A Youth Educator is someone who teaches youth about sustainable agriculture; this may include professional educators (4-H, FFA, Extension, grade school, high school, community college, college, university), farmers/ranchers, home-schoolers, other youth, educators from nonprofit organizations, etc.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be received online or in the NCRSARE office by mail or email by 4:00 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 15, 2018. Faxed proposals will NOT be reviewed.

For more information about writing a proposal, view a presentation at:


Contact Information:

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

Proposals may be received online at:

If you are unable to use the online system, email: or

mail proposals to:
NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant Program
University of Minnesota
1390 Eckles Ave
St Paul MN 55108

For questions about how to submit your proposal, contact:

Jean Andreasen, Executive Administrative Specialist

For questions about the Youth Educator Grant Program, the selection process, or project ideas, call or e-mail
Joan Benjamin, Associate Regional Coordinator

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Missouri;   Nebraska;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   South Dakota;   Wisconsin