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Change. Effecting Change by Funding Competitive Grants: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. Robert L. Newhall Western SARE Deputy Coordinator. What is Sustainable Agriculture ?. Satisfy human food and fiber needs;

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Effecting Change by Funding Competitive Grants: Sustainable AgricultureResearch and Education

Robert L. NewhallWestern SARE Deputy Coordinator

what is sustainable agriculture
What is Sustainable Agriculture?
  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable 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
in short sustainable agriculture is
In short, Sustainable Agriculture is:
  • Economically Viable...If it is not profitable, it is not sustainable...
  • Socially Acceptable...The Quality of Life of Farmers, Farm Families and Farm Communities is important...
  • Ecologically Sound...We must preserve the resource base that sustains us all...
western sare program
Western SARE Program
  • A program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture that promotes profitable farms, a sound environment and vibrant communities through offering different types of grants opportunities:
  • Farmer/Rancher Grants
  • Professional + Producer Grants
  • Research and Education Grants
  • Professional Development Grants
  • Graduate Student Grants
farmer rancher grants
Farmer/Rancher Grants
  • How much? Up to $15,000 (1 producer) or $25,000 (3+ producers)
  • How long? One to three years
  • How does the money flow? 50% upon contracting & 50% upon completion & accepted final report
  • Must include a Technical Advisor (Extension, NRCS, SCD, etc.)
  • Technical Review – January
  • AC approves funding – March
  • Contracting – starts spring
professional producers grants
Professional + Producers Grants
  • How much? Up to $50,000
  • How long? One to three years)
  • How does the money flow? Cost-Reimbursable
  • Must have five or more producers signed on
  • Technical Review – January
  • AC approves funding – March
  • Contracting – starts spring
research education cooperative projects
Research & Education Cooperative Projects
  • How much? Upper limit around $250,000
  • How long? One to three years: potential for competitive renewal
  • How does the money flow? Cost-Reimbursable
  • Must have three producers involved
  • Pre-proposal Technical Review – July
  • AC approves those to submit full proposals – August
  • Full proposal Technical Review – January
  • AC approves funding – March
  • Contracting – starts spring
professional development program
Professional Development Program
  • How much? Up to $75,000
  • How long? One to three years
  • How does the money flow? Cost-Reimbursable)
  • Train-the-trainer grants for Professional Development
  • Technical Review – January
  • AC approves funding – March
  • Contracting – starts spring
graduate student grants
Graduate Student Grants
  • How much? Up to $25,000
  • How long? One to two years
  • How does the money flow? Cost-Reimbursable
  • Need to be working on Masters or PhD
  • Technical Review – July
  • AC approves funding – August
  • Contracting – fall
when writing a western sare grant
When writing a Western SARE grant:
  • Points to Remember:
  • Read the Call for Proposals (CFP)
  • Read the CFP again – several times
  • Tie your idea into what Western SARE wants
  • Always make sure to have the proposal in by
  • the required time/date
common reviewer critiques
Common reviewer critiques
  • The proposal failed to address SARE goals
  • The proposal and plan of action lacked focus; not clear what you intended to do
  • Large amount of dollars paying for personnel
  • The education & outreach plan is weak
  • Crops to be grown are not specified
  • Did not follow directions specified by the CFP
common reviewer critiques1
Common reviewer critiques
  • It would be helpful to have a control plot
  • There was little information about how this project would benefit other producers
  • Lots of unanswered questions; not sure what they’re going to do
  • The funding seems more for perpetuating an organization than developing a project
  • Not much going to producer education
common reviewer praise
Common reviewer praise
  • Creative
  • Well-written
  • Large potential and measurable impact
  • Very innovative approach
  • Good use of technical advisor
  • Good proposal with specific goals
  • Lots of producers involved and educated
common reviewer praise1
Common reviewer praise
  • Good outreach with field days, fliers, pamphlets and web-based materials
  • The budget fit well and is carefully planned
  • Good study design
  • It proposes good measurable outcomes
  • The systems approach is a good one
  • Good ‘on-the-ground’ testing
budgets
Budgets
  • Create a realistic budget
  • Budgets that overstate estimated expenses raise red flags with reviewers
  • A budget that bumps up against the maximum allowed can also wave a red flag
  • Read the specific budgetary requirements carefully and address them