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Grants to USA Graduate Students in Eligible States for Collaborative Agricultural Projects that Promote Sustainability

Graduate Student Research and Education


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA: AlaskaArizonaCaliforniaColoradoHawaiiIdahoMontanaNevadaNew MexicoOregonUtahWashingtonWyoming
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)

Important Dates
Conference Date: 10/13/22
Deadline: 12/06/22 12:00 PM (Noon) Mountain Time Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $30,000 to USA graduate students for agricultural projects that promote sustainability in eligible states and territories. Projects must take place in one of the following regions: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Micronesia, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

This grant program involves full-time graduate students enrolled in an accredited university of Western U.S., their academic advisor and at least one producer implementing projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. Projects must integrate rigorous research and education aiming to advance the three components of sustainable agriculture- environmental, economic, and social. It is expected that outcomes of funded projects will result in quantifiable benefits for producers, increase the preservation of the natural and social resources upon which agriculture relies, and be documented in scholarly journals and disseminated throughout educational outreach activities.

Western SARE Goals:

  • Promote good stewardship of the nation’s natural resources by providing site-specific, regional and profitable sustainable farming and ranching methods that strengthen agricultural competitiveness; satisfy human food and fiber needs; maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of soil; conserve soil, water, energy, natural resources and fish and wildlife habitat; and maintain and improve the quality of surface and ground water.
  • Enhance the quality of life of farmers and ranchers and ensure the viability of rural communities, for example, by increasing income and employment, especially profitable self-employment and innovative marketing opportunities in agricultural and rural communities.
  • Protect the health and safety of those involved in food and farm systems by reducing, where feasible and practical, the use of toxic materials in agricultural production, and by optimizing on-farm resources and integrating, where appropriate, biological cycles and controls.
  • Promote crop, livestock, and enterprise diversification.
  • Examine the regional, economic, social and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems.

The goal of this grant program is to obtain results that are applicable to agricultural production, sustain and improve the environmental quality and natural resources upon which agriculture depends, improve the profitability of  farmers/ranchers and associated agricultural businesses, and enhance the quality of life of agricultural communities.

For information about sustainable agriculture, see


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Project team: Graduate student, researcher (PI), and at least one producer

Project Team: Western SARE requires that agricultural producers be involved from inception to finish in the planning, design, implementation, and educational outreach of any WSAREfunded project keeping in mind the inherently interdisciplinary nature of sustainable agriculture. Graduate Student projects require a team of at least three (3) people, including a Graduate Student (Applicant), a Researcher (Principal Investigator, typically the applicant’s major advisor), and at least one (1) Producer.
- Graduate Student: A student enrolled in a graduate degree program in an accredited university or college in the Western U.S.
- Principal Investigator (PI): A researcher that usually serves as the graduate student major advisor. The PI is responsible for carrying out its contractual provisions, all project’s expenditures, and for achieving the stated research and education objectives.
- Producer: A person qualifies as a Producer (farmer/rancher) if they have a for-profit operation and: Their primary occupation is farming or ranching and have a farm/ranch taxpayer identification number (TIN); or They are a part-time producer with at least $1,000 documented annual income or equivalent from farming or ranching activities.

Graduate Student Grant funds may NOT be used for the following purposes:
- Tuitions and fees
- Preparation of thesis/dissertation copy
- Purchase of classroom books
- Capital Equipment purchases – see above for more information.
- Starting or expanding a farm or farm operation.
- Major renovations/permanent improvements to a farm or ranch, such as constructing or remodeling a building.
- Repairs/Maintenance of equipment or buildings/facilities.
- Providing meals during events that are not necessary to maintain the continuity of a scheduled meeting; breakfasts and dinners typically do not qualify.
- Testing of commercial products.
- Incentives: providing cash or cash value items to individuals to incentivize behavior
- The purchase and distribution of gifts, gift cards, etc. for any purpose.
- Promotional items to give away, e.g., swag, mugs, clothes, bags, pens, pencils, etc.

Additionally, matching funds are not required or requested of Western SARE grant recipients. Please do NOT include matching funds in your budget or justification.

Pre-Proposal Conference
2023 Graduate Student Grant Program Q&A Live Session

October 13, 4:00 Mountain Time

This live Q&A session will provide a brief overview of the 2023 Western SARE Graduate Student grant program, and address questions regarding grant writing, budget, and grant submission. Participants are encouraged to watch the tutorials on grant writing, budget development, and online submission, and read the Graduate Student Grant Program Call for Proposal before attending the Q&A session. The Graduate Student grant program funds innovative research and education projects conducted by students and researchers working in partnership with producers to find solutions to sustainable agricultural food systems’ challenges. Staff is looking forward to answering your questions!

Register at:

Pre-Application Information
Submission Deadline, December 6, 2022, 12:00pm (noon) Mountain Time

Funding decisions announced: March 2023

Because universities typically do not allow students to manage institutional grant awards, the student’s major professor/advisor will be the Principal Investigator (PI) and the graduate student the applicant. Funds are awarded to the applicant’s university, with the funds to be dedicated to the student’s graduate research project and its dissemination. Students should be enrolled full-time in a graduate program at the starting time of the project and may receive only one Western SARE Graduate Student Grant award during their graduate studies.

More information:

View Q&A Session Recording:

Estimated Size of Grant
Project funding limit: $30,000

Term of Contract
Project Time Limit: Projects cannot exceed two (2) years (24 months). Please choose a start date that corresponds with the first of the month. Start dates must be no earlier than April 1, 2023, and no later than October 1, 2023.

Contact Information
Apply online:

Contact Person: Irene Grimberg, (406) 994-4789,

Western SARE
Montana State University
207 Linfield Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717-2840

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