cows in field

Funding Opportunities

Research and planning grants in the Northeast and North Central US

Added September 14, 2008. Below is a listing of funding opportunities in the Northeast and North Central US. If you are aware of other opportunities that you would like to share, please contact Lisa McCrory,

Organic Farming Research Foundation Education & Outreach Grants

The Organic Farming Research Foundation will fund the development of educational opportunities and materials that are: pertinent to organic agricultural production or marketing; and aimed at organic producers and/or those considering making the transition to organic certification. OFRF will also accept proposals to fund activities that promote information sharing among organic agricultural researchers and organic farmers and ranchers. OFRF will not fund a project for more than $15,000 per year except for fruit grants, for which the maximum grant size is $20,000 per year.

Northeast SARE Grants

The Northeast region is made up of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Sustainable Community Grants

Northeast SARE and the Northeast Center for Rural Development offer grants to organizations such as community nonprofits, Cooperative Extension, local governments, educational institutions, planning boards, farming cooperatives, and incorporated citizens’ groups. The purpose of the Sustainable Community Grants program is to reconnect rural revitalization and farming. Projects can address diverse issues such as land use, nutrition, employment, markets, education, farm labor, public policy, and environmental quality. Proposals are due November 27, 2008.

Farmer Grants test new crops, practices and systems through on-site experiments and share the results with other farmers. Grants average about $5,200, and are capped at $10,000. Farmer Grant applications are due in December.

Partnership Grants are awarded for on-farm research and demonstration projects developed by agricultural professionals who work directly with farmers. Grants are capped at $10,000. Partnership Grant applications are due in November.

Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grant

The goal of the Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grants is to encourage dairy business planning and modernization activities of Minnesota dairy farms. The program covers 50 percent of the cost of completing a business plan for a dairy operation. Producers who have applied for this grant are exploring the feasibility of expansion, environmental upgrades, stray voltage testing or transferring the operation to the next generation producer. Applications are funded on a first come first serve basis. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture can provide 50% of eligible project costs up to a maximum of $5,000.

North Central SARE Grants

North Central Region SARE administers four grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences and timelines. The focus for all four NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are made based on how well the applicant articulates the nature of the research and education components of their sustainable agriculture grant proposals.

View the chart at the bottom of this page for more about each program and to find current calls. For more information, please go to: or call Bill Wilcke, Regional Coordinator, (612) 625-8205.

Animal Welfare Grants

President of the Animal Welfare Institute Cathy Liss and Director of the Animal Welfare Approved program Andrew Gunther are pleased to announce a new initiative that will offer grants of up to $10,000 for the sole purpose of improving animal welfare on farms. Current Animal Welfare Approved farmers and those who have applied to join the program are eligible to apply for these grants.

Examples of eligible projects include conversion of buildings; fencing and paddock division; silviculture; improvement of water services; mobile housing; farm planning, farm health visits from recognized practitioners; alternative identification methods; alternative genetics; innovative chick transportation; alternatives to antibiotic use; and improvements in the slaughter process. Eligible costs include design fees, contractor costs, materials, slaughter equipment, new mobile housing, and incubators.

Applicants must submit an application and a budget by October 15, 2008, and propose a project that meets the purpose of this program. PDF forms for the Grant Guidelines and an Application Form are available online, go to: or contact Julie Munk at (703) 836-4300. If you have any questions concerning eligibility or the procedure for applying, please contact Emily Lancaster at (919) 428-1641 or at