Recognizing the value and importance of on-the-farm, producer experience in developing solutions to agricultural production challenges, the SSARE Producer Grant Program was established in 1994 to give farmers the opportunity to conduct their own research projects. The competitive research grants program is intended to help farmers and ranchers develop sustainable production and marketing practices. Both individual farmers and ranchers, and farmer groups, like cooperatives, are invited to submit a Producer Grant application. The goal of the grant program is for farmers/ranchers to conduct projects to solve challenges and problems they face and develop information on what works and doesn’t work so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same problems can benefit from the results of the funded project.
Any farmer/rancher, or farmer organization in the Southern region is eligible to apply for a Producer Grant. They may only submit one proposal in a grant cycle. Producer Grants are research grants intended to test on-farm or marketing ideas or solutions to existing farm problems using sustainable agriculture practices or techniques. Producer Grants cannot be used to buy land; start a farm, expand an existing farm; buy livestock or bees; buy any permanent farming structures such as fencing, irrigation, or buildings (including high tunnels); buy equipment; or make capital investments or farm improvements. Producer Grants do not pay a farmer to farm.