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Grants to USA Individuals and Organizations in Multiple States for Research in Sustainable Agriculture

Research and Education Grant Program


GrantWatch ID#

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

Geographic Focus
USA: IllinoisIndianaIowaKansasMichiganMinnesotaMissouriNebraskaNorth DakotaOhioSouth DakotaWisconsin

Important Dates
Deadline: 10/05/23 4:00 PM CDT Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA teams of scientists, educators, institutions, farmers, ranchers, and organizations in multiple states for agricultural research and education projects. Funding is intended for projects that lead to sustainable and profitable innovations in agricultural systems. Eligible states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Research and Education projects include a strong outreach component and significant farmer/rancher or other end-user involvement from the inception of the idea through the implementation of the project. Coordinators are encouraged to explore social, environmental, and economic aspects of whole systems.

NCR-SARE has a strong commitment to diversity. NCR-SARE encourages projects that either involve minority-serving institutions and non-profits (including 1890 colleges, 1994 colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions) or in other ways include work with historically-underserved audiences. NCR-SARE also encourages projects that, where feasible, include activities addressing the social dimensions of sustainability.

Preproposals must address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the North Central Region. NCR-SARE is interested in projects that lead to resilient agricultural systems. Successful projects should contribute to the following NCR-SARE broad-based outcomes:

  • Improving the economic viability of farmers/ranchers and associated agricultural businesses,
  • Sustaining and improving the environmental quality and natural resource base on which agriculture depends, and
  • Enhancing the quality of life for farmers/ranchers, communities, and society as a whole.

Many projects are interdisciplinary and/or multi-institutional, involving a broad range of agricultural interests. Project coordinators in the past have explored sustainable agriculture under the following topics:

  • Sustainable pest and weed mgmt.
  • Marketing and local food systems
  • Water quality and nutrient mgmt.
  • Systems research
  • High tunnels and season extension
  • Crop diversification
  • Cover crops and soil health
  • Small ruminants/poultry/cattle
  • Pastured livestock/grazing systems
  • Pollinators and biodiversity
  • Urban agriculture

For applicants interested in a Long-Term Funding Option, please see the URL for Full Text link below for full details.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
The Research and Education (R&E) Grant Program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers/ranchers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through research projects or education1/demonstration projects. Preproposals from any location are accepted, but the preproposal must convince reviewers that project results will primarily benefit NCR agriculture. Typically, proposals come from university and extension staff, the agricultural nonprofit sector, and from people who work on research farms and experiment stations. There is no requirement that applicants have a specific affiliation, but awarded entities must complete required federal grant protocols when applicable, for example animal care and use protocol verification. Contact the NCR-SARE office for more information.

Capital expenses for things like land purchases, general farm improvements, and construction of buildings, greenhouses, and laboratories are not allowed. Equipment is rarely allowed.

Pre-Proposal Conference
NCR-SARE will host a Zoom meeting about this grant program on September 6 at 10am Central.

This Zoom meeting will go over the details of applying to NCR-SARE's Research and Education and Partnership grant programs.


Pre-Application Information
Preproposals must be submitted on line by 4:00 p.m. CDT, October 05, 2023.

Preproposals will be reviewed by the NCR-SARE Administrative Council during the winter. All preproposal authors will be notified in early February 2024. Selected project coordinators will be mailed a call for proposals and invited to develop full proposals due in late March 2024. The NCR-SARE Technical Committee will review proposals and funding decisions will be made by the NCR-SARE Administrative Council in late July 2024. NCR-SARE anticipates that project funds will be available during the fall of 2024.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
Approximately 16 grant projects will be funded.

Estimated Size of Grant
Individual grants are not to exceed $250,000.

Term of Contract
Projects will last up to three years (36 months).

Start date cannot be earlier than November 1, 2024.

Projects that are long-term (more than 3 years) should identify themselves as a long-term project by checking the appropriate box in the on-line portion of the preproposal application. The preproposal will be evaluated with other long-term preproposals, separate from the short-term (3-year) project preproposals. Proposals submitted under the long-term option will be evaluated both for fit to SARE outcomes as well as the preproposal’s justification for longer-term funding. The preproposals selected to submit a full proposal will receive feedback/input on their justification for long-term funding. At this point, the investigators will need to decide if they submit the full proposal for traditional (1-3 yr) or long-term (4-9 yr) funding. There will be no opportunity to change funding categories after this time. The SARE Long-term Funding Option Committee who reviews the full proposals will recommend the proposal for either long-term funding or no funding at all.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Contact Beth Nelson, NCR-SARE Coordinator, with questions (e-mail: or phone: 612-626-4436).

North Central Region SARE
120 BioAgEng, UMN
1390 Eckles Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 612-626-3113

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