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Professional Development Grants

Grants to USA Individuals, IHEs, Nonprofits, and For-Profits
in Northeast States for Sustainable Agriculture Training

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Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

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Grants starting at $50,000 to USA individuals connected with IHEs, agricultural nonprofits, research farms, experiment stations, agricultural businesses, and private consultancies for training to promote environmental stewardship in the agricultural community. Preproposals are due July 6. Eligible States are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

This grant program funds projects that train agricultural service providers such as Cooperative Extension, state department of agriculture personnel, crop consultants, veterinarians, farm advisors with private businesses, and nonprofit organizations about sustainable practices and approaches so that they, in turn, can educate farmers. These train-the-trainer projects must be directed toward increasing the knowledge, skills, understanding, and abilities of educators to teach farmers about sustainable practices and approaches. Four years is the maximum allowable project length.

Northeast SARE uses an outcome funding approach for selection and management of Professional Development grants.

Projects must explore sustainable topics in agriculture and seek wider adoption or mainstreaming of sustainable practices through education. Practices to be adopted may be related to production, marketing, finances, or social/quality of life issues.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171785

Number of Grants:

Three to six awards are made each year, depending on available funding.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Professional Development awards typically range from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on duration and content.

Term of Contract:

Four years is the maximum allowable project length.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

There is no requirement that applicants have a specific affiliation, but they must have the institutional connections and support needed to carry out their project. They should also have experience with and responsibilities for delivering agricultural education to extension and other agricultural service providers. Typically, proposals come from university and extension staff, the agricultural nonprofit sector, and people who work on research farms and experiment stations, but proposals from private consultants or agriculture related businesses will be considered.

Applicants must have the skills needed to oversee and carry out their proposed project; be credible and experienced in the science of agriculture and agricultural sustainability; understand the importance of profitability, good stewardship, and quality of life for farmers and farm communities; and demonstrate a firm grasp of current opportunities and concerns in sustainable agriculture.

The application must be for work to be conducted in the USDA’s northeast region.

Pre-Application Information:

Preproposals are required for Northeast SARE Professional Development grants. Only an applicant with an approved Preproposal can submit a full proposal.

Process and timeline

-June 1, 2017: On line application system opens for submissions at 12:00 AM ET.

-July 6, 2017: Deadline for Preproposals for 2018 awards at 11:59 PM ET.

-August 18, 2017: Applicants will be notified about whether or not they are invited to submit a full proposal and receive instructions for submitting full proposal.

-September 1, 2017: The review team provides feedback about invited Preproposals to point out areas of concern that should be addressed in the full proposal. The team also provides feedback on Preproposals not invited with a focus on key concerns or omissions, but this information will be sent later, by the end of September.

-October 24, 2017: Deadline for full proposals for 2018 awards.

-February 23, 2018: Review results will be announced to applicants. Pre-award conference call meetings will be scheduled for applicants selected for funding. Once pre-award meetings are complete in March - finalizing milestones, the performance target, and results verification – contracts will be set up so that awardees can begin work.

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Grant Overview:


Full Proposals:

Grant Examples:

Contact Information:

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

Submit a Preproposal Online:

Northeast SARE
University of Vermont
140 Kennedy Drive, Suite 201
South Burlington, VT 05403


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Connecticut;   Delaware;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New York City;   New York;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   Vermont;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia