SARE is a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that functions through competitive grants conducted cooperatively by farmers, ranchers, researchers and ag professionals to advance farm and ranch systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities.
SARE is not “Business as Usual”
SARE is built on a foundation of respect for agricultural producers – the idea that farmers and ranchers know best what does and does not work on the land. Indeed, farmers and ranchers initiate many SARE research projects and are involved in nearly all of them as consultants or research coordinators. The bottom line: SARE supports high-quality research and education in sustainable agriculture with minimum overhead.
Rigorous Project Review
Projects are funded based on their merits and potential for achievement as gauged by a rigorous, competitive review process. The review is overseen by the Western SARE Administrative Council with support from technical reviewers who are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their fields. Continual oversight of the progress of funded grant projects by staff and the Administrative Council ensures that results are timely and accurate.
Since SARE’s inception, a key for evaluating potential funded research is ensuring the inclusion of scientists and experts in a multi-disciplinary approach. SARE-funded research projects are required to include educational and outreach components in their designs to ensure that findings reach the target audience. And they typically integrate economic analysis as a fundamental component of research and education.
Field Oriented and Participatory
In addition to involving farmers and ranchers at all levels of decision-making and encouraging on-farm research, SARE encourages projects that involve partnerships among scientists, landowners, extension professionals, rural communities, and environmental interest groups.
SARE is Inclusive
Through SARE, farmers and ranchers hailing from all types of backgrounds and engaging in all types of agricultural practices are brought to the table with university scientists, extension professionals and other agriculture support groups and agencies to examine issues of sustainability in agriculture. The goal is to break down labels that may separate farmers or ranchers by the terms “sustainable” or “conventional.” Instead, the focus is on identifying methods that will help all producers continue to grow safe and abundant food.
Since 1988, SARE has awarded numerous grants in every state and Island Protectorate. Aimed at advancing sustainable innovations, these grants add up to an impressive portfolio of sustainable agriculture efforts across the nation.3
If you have questions about Western SARE and funding opportunities that this website doesn’t answer, you can contact Nevada's state coordinator, Steve Foster. He can help answer questions specifically about SARE grants and your potential research and education project, but not general questions or provide answers on how to fund land purchases or capital equipment.
Extension's Communication Team