Illinois SARE Grants

North Central Region SARE Grants

Sustainable Food, Fuel and Fiber

Contact Information:

Doug Gucker
3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd.
Decatur, IL 62521

Farmer Rancher Grant Program

About the Farmer Rancher Grant Program

Farmers and ranchers have a critical insight when it comes to improving their systems. Whether they need to limit off-farm inputs, reduce erosion, create more time for family or community activities, learn marketing skills, or find other ways to enhance their livelihoods, farmers and ranchers can turn to the North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) for grant opportunities and information. In 1992, NCR-SARE began a competitive Farmer Rancher Grant Program exclusively to fund farmers and ranchers striving for agricultural sustainability.

NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.

Farmer Rancher grants have funded a variety of topics including pest/disease management, crop and livestock production, education/outreach, networking, quality of life issues, marketing, soil quality, energy, and more.

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.

NCR-SARE can provide grant applications, reports from other projects, lists of funded projects, or other sustainable agriculture information.
To receive more information about the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program proposal process and timeline, contact the NCR-SARE office.

  •  Farmer Rancher grants individual ($7,500 maximum), partner ($15,000 maximum), or group ($22,500 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers.
  •  Projects may last up to 24 months.
  •  About 50 projects are funded each year.
  •  A portfolio of producer grants is reviewed and awarded on an annual timeline.
  •  Grants support producers who are protecting natural resources, enhancing communities, and boosting profitability.
  •  Farmers and Ranchers are exploring innovative marketing of sustainable agriculture projects, in addition to other project topics.
  •  Outreach and networking multiplies producer project results.
  •  If you are a farmer or rancher, or if you work with producers, please consider getting involved.
  • If you are a youth or youth educator, take a look at our Youth and Youth Educator Grant Program.

Learn more about Completing a Farmer Rancher NCR-SARE Grant Proposal

Click here to watch a video, "The Basics of a Solid SARE Grant Application" presented by Jim Peterson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educator and Wyatt Fraas, Center of Rural Affairs. You must install RealPlayer in order to view this video. Click here for a free download of RealPlayer.

Farmer Rancher Grant Projects Recommended For Funding

Click here to view previous calls and projects recommended for funding.

2010 Farmer Rancher Grant Proposal Evaluation Form

The 2009 NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Proposal Evaluation Form is now available online for grant reviewers.

2010 Evaluation Sheet (For grant reviewers only)

Personal Contact

 The Farmer Rancher Grant Program has a full-time producer liaison, Joan Benjamin.

Joan Benjamin 
Farmer Rancher Grant Program Coordinator and Associate Regional Coordinator
Lincoln University
South Campus Bldg
Room 101
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: 573-681-5545