The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is now accepting grant proposals from farmers to support innovation in agriculture. Via Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program and SARE Outreach Coordinator:
Are you a farmer with a new idea you would like to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, or other technique?
Funding is available to support your on-farm research via a Farmer Grant from Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education). The deadline for SARE Farmer Grants is December 7th, 2010. SARE Farmer Grant funds can be used to explore new marketing and production techniques, pest management, cover crops, composting, agroforestry, new crop trials, bee health and alternative pollinators, new tool development, and a very broad range of other topics that improve profitability, stewardship, and the rural community.
Grant awards are capped at $15,000. Grant funds may be used to purchase materials specific to the project, to pay you, the farmer, for your time, to compensate consultants and service providers, and to pay project-specific expenses like lab, travel, and outreach costs.
Funds cannot be used for capital costs or to buy durable equipment, nor can funds be use to buy land, start a farm, or expand an existing operation. Utility, food, and meal costs are also generally excluded except under certain limited circumstances, and clothes–hats, tee shirts, aprons, etc.–are not permitted. In the same vein, giveaways or imprinted promotional items are excluded.
If you think a SARE farmer grant might be the right fit for you, a great way to start is to download and read “How to Write a SARE Farmer Grant” at the link http://nesare.org/downloads/2010%20farmer%20how%20to%20write.pdf
Next, find out what Northeast SARE has funded in your interest area. Is your idea new, interesting, and addressing an important question about sustainable farming? Previously funded projects are posted at http://nesare.org/get/farmers-examples/
After you’ve refined your idea, you’ll want to discuss your plan with a technical advisor. This is often a field agent, crop consultant, or other service provider. A technical advisor is required as a project participant.
When you are ready, download the application materials from http://nesare.org/get/farmers/ Be sure to start early, as you’ll want to leave time for developing a budget, and getting feedback on your application from your techical advisor.
For further information about SARE farmer grants, or any other SARE grant, visit www.nesare.org. For assistance, contact NY SARE Outreach Coordinator Violet Stone at 607-255-9227 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Violet can also provide printed copies of SARE application materials.