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SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Writing Workshop. Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant University of Illinois Extension Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture Extension Specialist SARE Coordinator. What is SARE? . S ustainable A griculture R esearch and E ducation SARE first funded in 1988

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sare farmer rancher grant writing workshop

SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Writing Workshop

Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant

University of Illinois Extension

Small Farm and Sustainable

Agriculture Extension Specialist

SARE Coordinator

what is sare
What is SARE?
  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
  • SARE first funded in 1988
  • Competitive grants program
  • Funding for research, demonstration, education and extension
sare s mission
SARE’s Mission
  • Strengthen rural communities, increase farmer/rancher profitability, and improve the environment by supporting research and education.
sare s purpose
SARE’s Purpose
  • To generate and disseminate sound and practical information about alternative farming systems believed to have the potential to increase the sustainability of agriculture.
sustainable agriculture is
Sustainable Agriculture is…
  • an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
    • satisfy human food and fiber needs;
    • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends;
    • make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
    • sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
    • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

(Title XVI, Subtitle A. Section 1603

sare grant programs
SARE Grant Programs
  • Research and Education Grant Program
  • Professional Development Program
  • Graduate Student Program
  • Farmer Rancher Grant Program
ncr sare farmer rancher grant program
NCR SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
  • NOT for everyday farming expenses
  • Identify specific problems and potential solutions
  • Maximum duration for grant projects is 21 months
  • Whole farm systems and youth projects are encouraged
  • Livestock project must comply with reasonable care requirements
ncr sare farmer rancher grant call for proposals
NCR SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals
  • What?
  • Who?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Characteristics of Successful Applications
  • How to Submit a Grant Proposal
  • Application Evaluation
  • Application Requirements
slide13
What
  • Proposals must:
    • Test a sustainable agriculture technique that is new to the farm
    • Educate/demonstrate to others a sustainable agriculture technique that could be used more widely in the area
      • Conduct learning circles, educational events, field days or demonstrations to further disseminate information
      • Develop new technologies
      • Create or modify equipment
slide14
What
  • NOT for everyday farming expenses
  • Identify specific problems and potential solutions
  • Whole farm systems and youth projects are encouraged
  • Livestock project must comply with reasonable care requirements
slide15
What
  • Since 1992, 686 grants have been awarded
      • 43 in Illinois and 30 in Indiana
      • Topics include rotational grazing, aquaculture, weed control, marketing and crop production systems
slide16
What
  • $400,000 available in 2008
    • $6,000 for individuals
    • $18,000 for groups (3 or more independent and separate operations)
  • Duration
    • Maximum duration is 21 months
slide17
Who
  • Any farmer/rancher or group of farmer/ranchers* who farms in the North Central Region
  • Previous producer grant recipients

* Three or more independent and separate operations. Must designate one individual farmer/rancher as group leader.

where
Where
  • The North Central Region consists of 12 states:
    • Illinois -Missouri
    • Indiana -Nebraska
    • Iowa -North Dakota
    • Kansas -Ohio
    • Michigan -South Dakota
    • Minnesota -Wisconsin

Farmers and ranchers from other states are eligible to apply if their proposed projects benefit the NCR at least as much as they benefit other regions.

slide19
When
  • 2008 Grant Cycle
  • August 20, 2008 Farmer/Rancher grant applications available
  • December 1, 2008 Deadline for receiving Farmer/Rancher Grant applications
  • Spring, 2009 Administrative Council recommends Farmer/Rancher grantrecipients
  • Spring, 2009 Budgets are reviewed by University accountants for compliance with USDA guidelines and grant contracts are sent out
  • Early summer Approximate date of first payment (50%)
  • March 1, 2010 Progress report due (2nd grant payment – 35%)
  • March 1, 2011 Deadline for submitting final report (eligible for final payment (15%) when final report is approved)
characteristics of successful applications
Characteristics of Successful Applications
  • Clearly define a problem
  • Involve cooperators
  • Belong to local or state groups
  • Outreach components
application evaluation
Application Evaluation
  • Review Criteria and Evaluation Process
    • Well-identified problem and specific innovative plan to test possible solutions to that problem
    • Best use of existing knowledge on the identified problem
    • Effective plan for sharing project information
    • Contribution to the growth of sustainable agriculture
    • Appropriateness of the budget
how to submit a grant proposal
How to Submit a Grant Proposal
  • Applications must be received by mail or e-mail in the NCR SARE office by 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Monday, December 1, 2008. Faxed applications will not be reviewed.
application evaluation23
Application Evaluation
  • What to Expect
    • Return signed contract to NCR-SARE
    • May receive a visit from the Farmer Rancher Grant Program Coordinator
    • For projects that last for more than one year, must submit a progress report by March 1, 2010
application evaluation24
Application Evaluation
  • What to Expect
    • At the end of the project, must submit:
      • Final report summarizing the project
      • Final budget that shows how funds were spent
      • Photos, when possible
application evaluation25
Application Evaluation
  • What to Expect
    • Funds will be disbursed in the following manner:
    • Grant recipients may request and receive 50% of the grant to start their project. They may request an additional 35% after submitting a satisfactory progress report at the end of the first year of their project, and they may request the remaining 15% upon completion of the project
application requirements
Application Requirements
  • Project Proposal
    • Proposals are limited to 5 pages, single-sided, excluding the budget. Proposals exceeding page limits will not be reviewed
    • Applications must be typed using no smaller than a 12-point font, similar to the text in the invitation for proposals, or legibly written in dark ink
    • Do not staple or paper clip your application
application requirements27
Application Requirements
  • Budget
    • Complete the budget form included in the RFP. Along with each item, briefly explain how each item in your budget will be used in your project
application requirements28
Application Requirements
  • Budget Tips
    • Personnel Costs
      • Include name, contact information and role for each participant
      • Include everyone who will participate, even if they are not receiving funds
      • Matching funds are not required, but reviewers like to know if you and/or others are making contributions
application requirements29
Application Requirements
  • 50% Rule
    • Grant funds can be used to pay for up to 50% of the cost of equipment, permanent fencing materials, and perennial seeds and plants
application requirements30
Application Requirements
  • Calculating Costs
    • Use realistic costs – not guesses.
    • Labor, land and equipment, and supplies – calculate on an annual cost-equivalent basis, i.e., operator labor per year @ $15/hour
application requirements31
Application Requirements
  • Unallowable Expenses
    • Construction and remodeling of buildings
    • Purchase of livestock
    • Purchase of motorized vehicles (may be leased)
application requirements32
Application Requirements
  • Food Expenses
    • Light refreshments at field days (coffee, cold drinks, fruit, pie, cookies, etc.) can be paid with grant funds, but typically meals cannot
application requirements33
Application Requirements
  • Investigate Cost-Sharing
    • Contact state and federal agencies to see if they have funds that may be used to supplement your grant
application requirements34
Application Requirements
  • Reference Letter
    • Required (no more than two)
    • Explain why the project is needed and how it will benefit the community
    • Contact references early and make sure that they are familiar with your project
for assistance sare pdp coordinators
For AssistanceSARE PDP Coordinators
  • Illinois
    • Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant cvnghgrn@illinois.edu
  • Indiana
    • Tom Jordan, tjordan@purdue.edu