Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Research and Education Program


Contact Information


The mission of SARE is to expand knowledge and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable.

Funding Interests

The Western SARE program encourages proposals that support outcome- and impact-driven research and education that adheres to the following national goals:

  • Satisfies human food and fiber needs;
  • Enhances environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • Makes the most efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources and integrates, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • Sustains the economic viability of agricultural operations and their communities; and
  • Enhances the quality of life for farmers, ranchers and society as a whole.

Geographic Focus

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

Types of Support

R&E grants fund education and research projects that typically involve scientists, producers and others in an interdisciplinary approach.

Grant Size

$20000 to $200000

Requirements & Limitations

Congress mandates that the SARE grant program depart from ?business as usual.? To that end, the Administrative Council requires that agricultural producers be involved
from start to finish in the planning, design, implementation and educational outreach of any SARE-funded project. Token representation of producers is not allowed.

Western SARE requires that all funded Research
and Education projects:

  • detail educational outreach plans that
    efficiently deliver this new knowledge to
    producers in your state and the region;
  • demonstrate that your outreach plans
    increase producers? knowledge base in
    sustainable agriculture; and
  • deliver measurable impacts in dollars,
    number of producers and acres impacted.

Harnessing the skills and knowledge of farmers
and ranchers from a project?s germination through
its completion can help ensure such results.

Application Process

Applicants must first fill out a pre-proposal form.


The deadline for full R&E proposals was November 15, 2006 at 5 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time. The 2007 deadline has not as yet been posted. Refer to the website for future date.

Recent Grants

Grant 1

Grantee: Department of Entomology, University of California
Amount: $178300
Purpose: To reduce pesticide reliance and promote sustainable pest management, the California grape industry is requiring new, economically competitive options for insect control. This Research and Education project will investigate the use of nectar cover crops, namely buckwheat and cahaba vetch, for pest management in grapes in Southern California. It will also evaluate how these cover crops can be incorporated into the Code of Sustainable Winegrape Workbook. The researchers will sow buckwheat and vetch between vine rows at a wine grape vineyard in Temecula and a table grape vineyard in Coachella Valley to see if the crops enhance spring and summer populations of natural enemies of insects and whether such enhancements reduce insect pests. They'll try to determine how many rows of cover crops are required for pest control, when to sow the buckwheat and vetch for optimum effect and whether the cover crops reduce weeds.<br><br> \

Grant 2

Grantee: Farm Tenure: A Tool Kit, Sebastopol, CA<br>
Amount: $103130

This project seeks to help farmers and ranchers, including beginning farmers, secure long-term tenure on the land, the contention being that a longer commitment engenders greater sustainability than year-to-year agreements. The project team will research and summarize alternative land tenure models for producers, looking at the role of public agencies to lease out agricultural lands, and will analyze whether policies from other parts of the country can apply to land tenure in California. The research will be compiled in a models handbook that address such issues as cash rent leases from private, government and nonprofit entities; intergenerational transfers using installment sales, lease options and gifting; community land trust and land pooling; long-term and inheritable leases; and various ownership options, including cooperative ownership.

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