Farmer Rancher Grant

About the Farmer Rancher Grant Program

Farmers and ranchers have 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) Program 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

  • Farmer Rancher grants are for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers and are offered as individual grants ($15,000 maximum) or team grants for two or more farmers/ranchers who are working together ($30,000 maximum).
  • Projects may last up to 23 months.
  • About 40 projects are funded each year. In 2023, NCR-SARE received 140 proposals and selected 42 proposals for funding.
  • Grants support producers who are protecting natural resources, enhancing communities, and boosting economic viability.
  • 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.
  • 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 an annual timeline.
  • Take a look at grants that have been previously funded at .
  • 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 various topics, including pest/disease management, crop, and livestock production, food sovereignty, 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 grant program 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 upper right side of this page. Contact the NCR-SARE office to learn more about the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program proposal process and timeline.


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

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


NCR-SARE prepared this Farmer Rancher Grant Program presentation. 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)
  • View a video of a Farmer Rancher grant writing webinar.

Personal Contact

A unique aspect of NCR-SARE is our personal contact with grantees involved in the program. If you have any questions about this program, feel free to contact Liz Brownlee.

Liz Brownlee
Farmer Rancher and Youth Educator Grant Program Coordinator
Phone: 812-405-5681
Email: [email protected]

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 2023 Professional Development Program Projects
Research and Education
List of 2023 Research and Education Projects
Youth Educator
List of 2023 Youth Educator Projects
Graduate Student
List of 2023 Graduate Student Projects
Farmer Rancher
List of 2023 Farmer Rancher Projects
List of 2024 Partnership Projects


Take a look at this map to see the Farmer Rancher Grant projects that have been funded in the North Central region. Zoom in and use the project number to learn more about our Farmer Rancher grants.