Got innovative youth education ideas? Get funded!

Details you should follow when submitting a grant proposal to the NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Grant Program for sustainable agriculture.

October 3, 2011 - Author: Dale R. Mutch, Michigan State University Extension

The North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program offers grants for youth and youth educators. These grants are to promote and support youth and youth educators who are teaching or want to learn more about sustainable agriculture. NCR-SARE has funded six youth and six youth educator grants since its inception in 2008. If you want to submit a grant, here are some details you need to follow.

NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Grants

NCR-SARE awards competitive grants to youth and youth educators to provide opportunities for youth in the North Central Region to learn about sustainable agriculture.

Youth Grants ($400 maximum) are for on-farm research, demonstration or education projects by youth ages 8 to 18. Research and demonstration projects are for hands-on efforts to explore sustainable agriculture issues and practices. Education projects involve teaching others about sustainable agriculture or attending a sustainable agriculture conference, workshop or camp.

Youth Educator Grants ($2,000 maximum) are for educators to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. Educator is broadly defined and includes farmers and ranchers, homeschoolers, teachers at grade schools, high schools, community colleges, colleges, universities, non-profit organizations and more.

The Youth and Youth Educator Grant Program typically has about $34,000 available for grants. In 2010, NCR-SARE received 23 Youth proposals and 57 Youth Educator proposals. The NCR-SARE Administrative Council approved 16 Youth grants totaling $6,187 and 15 Youth Educator grants totaling $28,414 from Michigan.

Youth and Youth Educator grants have funded a variety of topics, including alternative grain crops for food or animal feed; raising bees sustainably; composting; education or outreach; endangered livestock breeds; energy conservation; direct marketing; disease, pest, and weed management techniques such as using cover crops and crop rotations; networking; quality of life issues; rotational grazing; soil quality; waste management; water quality; and more.

NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals is issued in August, proposals are due in mid-January and funding for successful proposals is available in the spring. Projects must be completed in 25 months.

To request the Youth and Youth Educator Grant Call for Proposals, contact the NCR-SARE office at 800-529-1342 or e‑mail Follow the directions in the Call for Proposals carefully. Visit the NCR-SARE website for a list of resources to help you write your proposal.

Before you write the grant proposal, determine a clear project goal and explore previous sustainable agriculture research or projects on your topic. You can view reports from funded projects on the national SARE website (click on the “Project Reports” tab at the top of the page to see the reports).

For additional information on SARE grants and grant writing, contact Dale R. Mutch or Dean Baas, Michigan SARE co-coordinators. Visit the SARE website to get more information on SARE grants in Michigan.

If you have questions, contact the NCR-SARE office at 800-529-1342, or Joan Benjamin, associate regional coordinator, at 573-681-5545.

Tags: beef, dairy, field crops, floriculture, fruit & nuts, horses, landscaping, msu extension, nursery & christmas trees, organic agriculture, pork, poultry, sheep & goats, turf, vegetables

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