Cover photo for North Central SARE Research and Education Grant

North Central SARE Research and Education Grant

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Research and Education (R&E) Grant Program is a competitive grant program for researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems.

Research and Education projects include a strong outreach component and significant farmer/rancher or other end-user involvement from the inception of the idea through the implementation of the project.


  • Projects may last up to 36 months or may choose to propose a long-term project.

  • NCR-SARE anticipates funding 10-14 Research and Education projects per year.

  • Grant-making decisions are made by the NCR-SARE Administrative Council.

  • Research and Education grants are built by collaborative teams.


Many projects are interdisciplinary and/or multi-institutional, involving a broad range of agricultural interests. Project coordinators in the past have explored sustainable agriculture under the following topics:

  • Sustainable pest and weed mgmt.

  • Marketing and local food systems

  • Water quality and nutrient mgmt.

  • Systems research

  • High tunnels and season extension

  • Crop diversification

  • Cover crops and soil health

  • Small ruminants/poultry/cattle

  • Pastured livestock/grazing systems

  • Pollinators and biodiversity

  • Urban agriculture

NCR-SARE recognizes that some research/extension systems work is complex and requires a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that takes many years to complete. To be effective, these projects are likely to exceed the time limits of North Central SARE’s normal one-to-three year funding cycle. Projects that apply under the long-term (more than 3 years) option in the preproposal will be asked to briefly describe why this is a longer-term project and the estimated duration of the project. The justification might include the complexity of the set-up of the project or relationship building; the ecosystem processes at play; or need for longer-term data collection/analysis. 

Preproposals must address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the North Central Region. NCR-SARE is interested in projects that lead to resilient agricultural systems. 

Successful projects should contribute to the following NCR-SARE broad-based outcomes:

  • Improving the profitability of farmers/ranchers and associated agricultural businesses,

  • Sustaining and improving the environmental quality and natural resource base on which agriculture depends, and

  • Enhancing the quality of life for farmers/ranchers, communities, and society as a whole. 

Preproposals should clearly explain:

  • Relevancy of the project to sustainable agriculture in the North Central Region, including identifying expected outcomes for the project and how they will assist NCR-SARE in working toward the broad-based outcomes listed above.

Application Instructions

Proposals are submitted online at:

You must make an account to apply.

Read the Call For Proposals carefully and have your documents together to make the process smoother.

Updated March 22, 2024

Image Credit: SARE

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