Welcome to Illinois SARE Program
Since 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has advanced profitable and environmentally sound farming systems that are good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program.
Illinois Farm to School coming to a town near you!!
This week representatives from the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health, University of Illinois Extension, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Midwest Region, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Farmers Market Association, Illinois YMCA's, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Seven Generations Ahead, Gen H Kids and National Farm to School network are meeting in the state capitol to work out the details of a multi-year collaborative initiative to benefit communities throughout Illinois interested in building their Farm to School program. This kick-off will be followed by series of Farm to School trainings and events across the state that will provide resources to communities, schools, families, Illinois farmers, NGOs, and other stakeholders involved in the supply chain.
The Springfield event was organized by Illinois Farm to School State Lead, Julia Govis and sponsored by Illinois Department of Public Health. To receive weekly updates on National, Regional and Local Farm to School news sign up below with your e-mail address to get the electronic IL Farm to School newsletter.
NOTICE - NCR-SARE Announces 2013 Graduate Student Grant Call for Proposals
Deadline: May 9, 2013
The 2013 North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Graduate Student Grant Call for Proposals is now available online at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Our-Grant-Programs/Graduate-Student-Grant-Program
Graduate students enrolled at colleges or universities in the North Central region can submit proposals for up to $10,000 to fund sustainable agriculture projects that will be part of their educational programs. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 15 projects in the twelve-state North Central region.
New this year, NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Graduate Student Grant Program using our online submission system. More information about the online submission system can be found in the call for proposals.
Previously funded Graduate Student Grant Program proposals have contributed to farmer or rancher profitability, environmental quality, and the enhancement of the quality of life of farmers or ranchers, their communities, and society as a whole. NCR-SARE strongly encourages students to involve farmers and ranchers in their Graduate Student Grant Program projects.
Proposals must be completely submitted to the online system by 4 p.m. CDT, May 9, 2013. Potential applicants should note the deadline, and plan accordingly, since it may coincide with finals.
The North Central Region’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program is now accepting pre-proposals for the Professional Development Program.
Pre-proposals deadline is 4:00pm CDT on Thursday, May 16, 2013.
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Grant Program supports state professional development programs and competitive grants for training agricultural professionals.
Professional Development Program (PDP) competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community. Generally:
- Professional Development Program awards range from $30,000 to $75,000
- Projects may last up to 36 months.
- About 5-10 projects are funded each year.
Applicants are educators who often represent, but are not limited to, Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and non-profit groups.
PDP competitive grants are awarded for state and multi-state PDP projects that emphasize cross-agency training, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community.
Before writing a grant proposal, determine a clear project goal and explore previous research. It often helps to contact NCR-SARE, local agriculture groups, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and/or Extension educators to share ideas and invite participation.
Projects can be up to three years in duration, and funding is capped at $75,000 per project, but projects requesting less than full amount are encouraged. Approximately $400,000 will be available for funding projects.
New this year, NCR-SARE will be accepting online submissions for the Professional Development Grant Program using our online submission system. More information about the online submission system can be found in the call for pre-proposals at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Our-Grant-Programs/Professional-Development-Grant-Program.
The CHS Foundation offers mini-grants to to College Agriculture Clubs and scholarships in the agriculture field
Deadline: April 1, 2013
Deadline: April 5, 2013
NIFA anticipates that grant funds will be available and requests applications for the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – Organic Transitions (ORG) for fiscal year (FY) 2013 to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities in program areas. It is anticipated that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2013 will be approximately $3.7 million and that five to six awards will be made in FY 2013.
Deadline: April 15, 2013
As in past years, the SRDC RIDGE Center is seeking to invest in innovative social sciences-based research that explores the dimensions of the food and nutrition assistance challenges impacting residents (or communities) in rural America, including key populations such as Native Americans, immigrants, other racial/ethnic minorities, single parents, youth, the persistently poor, and others. For more information on this year's research priorities and details of the application process, please click on the link above.
Deadline: April 15, 2013 - 4:00 p.m.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture received specialty crop block grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Specialty Crop Block Grant - Farm Bill. A portion of those grant funds will be used to fund the Illinois Specialty Crop Grant Program. Through this program all Illinois specialty crop projects can apply for grant funds to help increase the competitiveness of the Illinois specialty crop industry.
The department has not been notified of the exact amount of its award, but anticipates receiving about $600,000.
Deadline: April 24, 2013
The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.
In this funding round, USDA is soliciting applications for three types of grants:
- Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
- Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
- Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.
Important Dates and Deadlines
- February 6, 2013: Request for Applications Released
- April 24, 2013: Proposals Due (Midnight EST)
- October 2013: Awards Announced and Funds Available (Pending the Availability of Federal Funds)
Extension Integrated Pest Management: Coordination and Support Program - deadline April 26. Award ceiling is $300,000. EIPM-CS funds will help agricultural producers and other pest managers adopt alternative pest management practices through training, demonstration, and evaluation of methods and strategies.
Deadline: May 1, 2013
This exciting new program is intended to support research (in the U.S.) by graduate students pursuing doctoral research in areas that closely align with the priorities of the RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies. Students currently enrolled in a PhD program from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education are eligible to apply for the RIDGE Center Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant Program. However, an applicant must have completed all formal work related to his/her area of study and be at the "All But Dissertation" (ABD) stage of the doctoral program. The document in the link above provides detailed information on the procedures for applying for this valuable new RIDGE Center activity.
Deadline: May 1, 2013
The application period is open for the Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) Fund-a-Farmer Project: a micro-grants initiative that assists farmers in improving animal welfare. The Fund-a-Farmer Project grants up to $1,500 for projects that (1) help farms transition to pasture-based systems, (2) improve the marketing of their humane products, or (3) more generally enrich the conditions in which farm animals are raised. Last year, FACT awarded $13,000 to nine farms across the country.
Working, independent family farmers who raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows and/or beef cattle are eligible to apply for any of the grants. Projects involving goats and sheep are only eligible for marketing grants. Apply online at www.fundafarmer.org. Applications are due by May 1, 2013, and grants will be awarded in August 2013.
Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by May 1, 2013.
The Fund-a-Farmer Project, a project of Food Animal Concerns Trust, awards grants of up to $1,500 for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve the marketing of their humane products, or more generally to enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised. Farms applying for funding for a pasture or welfare project must raise at least one of the following animal species: pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, and beef cattle. Farms applying for funding for a marketing-based project must raise at least one of the following species: goats, sheep, pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, and beef cattle. Grants will be made only to farmers for a project on a working, independent family farm.
Organic Farming Research Foundation encourages farmers, ranchers, researchers, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding for organic seed quality or crops breeding projects.
Deadline: May 15, 2013.
Fundable topics in the category of organic seed quality and crop breeding include, but are not limited to, conducting research on:
- Systems approaches to managing seed-borne diseases;
- Developing seed treatments compliant with the organic standards;
- Participatory plant breeding activities;
- Developing strategies for maintaining integrity of organic seed.
2013 Conservation Innovation Grants - deadline May 22. Award ceiling is $1,000,000. Grants are intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies.
USDA will conduct a four-week general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), beginning May 20 and ending on June 14.
The Thornton S. Glide, Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation is a perpetual California charitable trust. Its purpose is to provide benefits for qualified organizations committed to animal protection organizations, other land and wildlife conservancy groups, agricultural purposes, preservation of land in its natural state, and opera, symphony, and other similar civic organizations. The foundation has two programs; a regular grant program for funding up to $25,000 and a major grant program for funding up to $50,000 intended for capital expenditures.
Deadline: August 15, 2013
The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program is offering grants of up to $250 to Pre-School through High School teachers across the state of Illinois to fund projects promoting agricultural literacy in the classroom.
Deadline: October 1, 2013
Farm Aid (Rolling deadlines) provides grants to IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit (family farm and rural service) organizations that fulfill the goals of three different programs:
Helping Farmers Thrive
Grants in this category fund organizations that provide farmers with the tools and resources they need to get started on the land, access new markets, transition to more sustainable farming practices, produce renewable fuels and stay on the land in the face of financial crisis and natural disasters.
Taking Action to Change the System
Grants in this category fund organizations that promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns to defend and bolster family farm agriculture, lifting the voices of family farmers and promoting their interests on a local, regional or national level.
Growing the Good Food Movement
Grants in this category fund organizations that are creating innovative programs that build local and regional food systems, connecting farmers directly to consumers and creating new value-added markets for family farmers.
Applications accepted on a rolling basis
- Streamlined process with fees, interest rates, and paperwork minimized
- Targeted loan amounts between $1,000 and $100,000 (maximum $25,000 for start-ups)
- Loan amount not to exceed 80% of total project cost
- Low, fixed interest rates (currently between 5% and 9%)
Kiva Zip is a non-profit loan program for startup folks without startup money and break-even folks who want to expand towards profitability. Apply for up to $5000 in loans and pay 0% interest. No minimum credit score required and 6 month grace period for start-ups!
Did you know that most of the books that SARE sells can be downloaded for FREE?
For example: You can buy Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual for $24.00.
Or you can Download the File (Adobe PDF, 2.52 MB) at no charge.
Highlighted SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product:
Using Low-Cost Technology to Increase Yields, Improve Quality and Extend the Season
SARE's Learning Center offers a variety of sustainable agriculture information including:
- Production and marketing
- Practical handbooks
- Free bulletins
- Online courses
- How-to fact sheets based on SARE research projects