Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer/Rancher Grants


Contact Information


The purpose of Western SARE?s Farmer/Rancher program is to encourage outcome-driven research and education in sustainable agriculture. In addition, the results are communicated to producers and professionals, which will improve income, the environment, communities, and quality of life for all citizens.

Funding Interests

The program seeks to fund projects related to the following goals:

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources and, where appropriate, integrate natural biological cycles and controls;
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm and ranch operations; and
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers, ranchers and society as a whole.

Potential subjects include ag marketing, ag systems, ag economics, agroforestry, agronomy, animal science, entomology, horticulture, integrated pest management, models, natural resources, quality of life, range science, soil science, tropical agriculture, water quality and organic farming.

Geographic Focus

AK, AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA and WY

Types of Support

Producers use their grants to conduct on-site experiments that can be shared with other producers. Projects may also focus on marketing and organic production.

Grant Size

$0 to $30000

Requirements & Limitations

All projects must involve at least one producer and have a technical advisor. Farmer/Rancher grant funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Starting or expanding a farm or farm operation;
  • Any single piece of equipment costing more than $500. The $500 limit cannot by used towards the purchase of a piece of equipment costing more than $500 or to purchase parts for tractors, equipment, irrigation, etc.;
  • Permanent improvements to a farm or ranch, e.g. planting an orchard, buying a herd or constructing a building;
  • Lunches or other full meals at field days or large gatherings if more than half of the participants are less than 50 miles from home; and
  • Testing of commercial products.

Application Process

Applications must include a proposal cover page, project narrative, signature page, budget page and technical advisor resume. Applicants are required to submit different numbers of copies for different parts of the application.


Deadline for submitting Farmer/Rancher Grant proposals in 2007 was in December. The 2008 deadline has not as yet been posted. Refer to the website for the future date.


Western SARE has another similar grant program that involves a producer and an ag professional. For more details regarding this program visit the website.

Recent Grants

Grant 1

Grantee: Antelope Creek Ranch, Larkspur, CO
Amount: $12089
Purpose: Antelope Creek Ranch in Larkspur wants to test whether raising animals in an unheated greenhouse during the winter months will produce enough heat energy from livestock and their composting manure to keep the greenhouse above freezing. The ranch will use its Farmer/Rancher grant to compare two structures, each 32 feet by 72 feet. One will be divided lengthwise with temporary fencing, one side growing vegetables, the other finishing hogs. The second structure will be used only for growing vegetables. The impact on temperature and humidity with livestock present will be compared with the control structure with no livestock. The project will also test the feasibility of on-farm composting of hog manure and bedding to be used as fertilizer for the growing crops. Should this project prove successful, Antelope Creek Ranch plans to test the hypothesis of combining vegetable production with production of poultry and lambs.<br><br>

Grant 2

Grantee: Forage Kochia Test, Molt, MT
Amount: $3740

The project coordinator plans to plant forage kochia, a non-weedy species adapted to areas of the West with a wide range of soils and 6 to 16 inches of precipitation. The project will plant forage kochia on salty and non-salty sites on rangeland at the Seitz Ranch near Acton, MT, and the Dailey Ranch near Jordan, MT, to test the potential to turn drought-stressed, salt-affected, unproductive pastures into valuable assets for a winter grazing program. Success will increase grazing options and reduce feed costs for the winter.

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