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Are You Eligible for a Sustainable Agriculture Grant?

Columbia Land Conservancy

Are you a farmer with a new idea you would like to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration or other technique? Are you an educator looking to conduct research with farmers as active cooperators? Are you a community member aiming to connect sustainable farming with community revitalization?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant might be the right fit for you. Funding is available to help you test your ideas in the way of farmer grants, partnership grants and sustainable community grants from Northeast SARE. All grants are capped at $15,000.

For assistance, contact Violet Stone, NY SARE coordinator at 607-255-9227 or vws7@cornell.edu. Stone can also provide printed copies of SARE application materials.

Farmer Grants

Farmer grants let commercial producers explore new ideas in production or marketing. Reviewers look for innovation, potential for improved sustainability and results that will be useful to other farmers. Projects should be technically sound and explore ways to boost profits, improve farm stewardship, or have a positive impact on the environment or the farm community.

To qualify, you must be a farm business owner or manager in the Northeast SARE region. It is not necessary that you farm full-time, but the primary activity of your farm must be to produce and sell agricultural products. There is a limit of one application per farm per year.

Grant funds can be used to pay for your time and time that your employees work directly on the project, materials specific to the project, project-related services like testing and consulting, project-related travel, outreach expenses, equipment rental and other direct costs.

The deadline to apply is December 1st.

For more information, click here.

Partnership Grants

Partnership grants allow agricultural service providers to explore topics in sustainable production and marketing in cooperation with client farmers. The goal is to build knowledge farmers can use, encourage the understanding and widespread use of sustainable techniques, and strengthen working partnerships between farmers and farm service providers. Projects must take place on farms or directly involve farm businesses. Reviewers look for well-designed inquiries into how agriculture can enhance the environment, improve the quality of life, or be made more profitable through good stewardship.

You must be engaged in agricultural research or outreach in an organization like Cooperative Extension, NRCS, a state department of agriculture, a college or university, an agricultural nonprofit, or a commercial agricultural consulting business.

Funds can be used to pay for your time and time that your partnering farmers spend on the project, materials specific to the project, project-related services like soil testing and lab fees, project-related travel, outreach expenses, equipment rental and other direct costs.

The deadline to apply is November 1st.

For more information, click here.

Sustainable Community Grants

Sustainable community grants focus on sustainable agriculture as it affects community development, and successful proposals enhance the economic, social and environmental position of farms and farmers. Reviewers are looking for innovative projects that clearly benefit farmers and were planned in coordination with them. They also want to see efforts that others can replicate and that are likely to bring about durable and positive institutional change.

Proposals must address certain key issues such as finance, marketing, land use, water use, enterprise development, value-added activities, or labor.

Sustainable community grants are primarily for agriculturally oriented agencies and nonprofits (Cooperative Extension, NRCS, state departments of agriculture, or comparable entities), and community development groups with the capacity and experience to foster sustainable agriculture enterprise development.

Grant funds can be used to pay for personnel costs, mileage, materials and supplies specific to the project, outreach, per-diem or consultant costs, and project-specific long distance, fax and conference calls. Grant funds can also be used to cover meeting expenses and printing, postage, or outreach costs associated with hosting an event or field day. Any equipment costs must be project-specific. Requests for general office equipment costs are not allowable.

The deadline to apply is October 19th.

For more information, click here.

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