Farmer Rancher Grant

2021 Farmer Rancher Call for Proposals

There is no open call at this time.

View a Sample Call

Abbey Wick worked with Doug Toussaint and other farmers to evaluate how cover crops affect soil health

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.

Check out these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Farmer Rancher grant program for more information.

  • Farmer Rancher grants are offered as individual grants ($9,000 maximum), a team of two ($18,000 maximum), or group ($27,000 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers.
  • Projects may last up to 23 months.
  • About 50 projects are funded each year.
  • Grants support producers who are protecting natural resources, enhancing communities, and boosting profitability.
  • Outreach and networking multiply farmer and rancher project results.
  • NCR-SARE uses an online grant application system for this program. More information is available in the call for proposals.
  • The NCR-SARE Administrative Council makes Grant-making decisions.
  • A sample call for proposals is available throughout the year, but you should always consult the current call for proposals when applying.
  • Grant applications are reviewed and awarded on the annual timeline.
  • Download a presentation about completing a proposal for this grant program.
  • Take a look at grants that have been previously funded.
  • Review the projects funded in the last grant cycle.
  • View a map of Farmer Rancher grants that have been funded in the North Central region.

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.

NCR-SARE’s regional Administrative Council makes funding decisions after receiving feedback from a review committee. The Administrative Council is a collection of farmers, ranchers, university representatives, nonprofit representatives, Extension and NRCS people, other government employees, and agribusiness representatives. This group sets research priorities and recommends projects for funding.

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. Current calls will be posted in the “Open Grant Programs” box on the right side of this page. To receive more information about the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program proposal process and timeline, contact the NCR-SARE office.


Timelines are subject to change. Always adhere to the due date listed in the current Call for Proposals.

  • Mid August – Call for Proposals Released
  • Early December – Proposals Due
  • February – Funding Decisions
  • Spring – Funds Available to Recipients


This Farmer Rancher Grant Program presentation was prepared by NCR-SARE. This presentation explains the Farmer Rancher grant program and the process for applying for this grant.

  • Download a presentation about applying for a Farmer Rancher grant either as a basic PDF or an editable PowerPoint presentation (PDF or PowerPoint)
  • Watch a video of a recorded webinar about the Farmer Rancher grant program.

Personal Contact

A unique aspect of NCR-SARE is our personal contact with grantees involved in the program. The Farmer Rancher Grant Program has a full-time producer liaison, Joan Benjamin. Feel free to contact Joan Benjamin with any questions about this program.

Joan Benjamin
Farmer Rancher Grant Program Coordinator and Associate Regional Coordinator
Phone: 573-681-5545

Recent Grant Projects

Click on the links below to access lists of funded project information. You can also view lists of projects that have been funded in your state.

Professional Development
List of 2020 Professional Development Program Projects
Research and Education
List of 2020 Research and Education Projects
Youth Educator
List of 2021 Youth Educator Projects
Graduate Student
List of 2020 Graduate Student Projects
Farmer Rancher
List of 2021 Farmer Rancher Projects
List of 2021 Partnership Projects