Grant funding available for producers looking to engage in on-farm research

Farm and Food

Farmers and ranchers in the North Central Region interested in exploring sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research are encouraged to apply for a Farmer Rancher Grant through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE). 

Applications are being accepted for individual ($9,000 maximum), team of two ($18,000 maximum), or group ($27,000 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers. North Central Region SARE expects to fund about 50 projects in the 12-state region. About  $720,000 is available for this program.

Farmer Rancher Grants were created to assist producers who are protecting natural resources, enhancing communities, and boosting profitability. To date, the grants have funded a variety of projects, such as pest/disease management, crop and livestock production, education and outreach, networking, quality of life issues, marketing, soil quality, energy, and more. Projects should emphasize research or education.

To write a strong proposal, applicants should determine a clear project goal and explore previous research. It is recommended to contact North Central Region SARE, local agriculture groups, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and/or Extension educators to share ideas and invite participation.

Proposals are due on Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. CST. Questions about the program should be directed to Joan Benjamin, associate regional coordinator and Farmer Rancher Grant Program coordinator, at or 573.681.5545. North Central Region SARE revises the calls for proposals each year, which means it is crucial to use the most recent call for proposals.

Additionally, each state in SARE's North Central Region has one or more state sustainable agriculture coordinators who can provide information and assistance to potential grant applicants. Interested applicants can find their coordinator online at

With support from a Farmer Rancher Grant, Nebraska farmers have been able to investigate the profitability of pollinator habitat with native plants. More information on the project can be found here. Producers looking to generate ideas for a project can look through previously funded Farmer Rancher grantsthe database can be found here.