Man holding radish

Nebraska SARE Coordinator Gary Lesoing is working with Extension colleagues and other educators to provide research and education opportunities on cover crops, as farmers grow increasingly interested in their use to improve soil health. Learn more about SARE in Nebraska. Photo by Mandy Hall Photography

In the North Central region we are seeing unprecedented demand for information about how we can sustain our region’s cultural history, agricultural prowess and innovative systems. At NCR-SARE, we are compelled to meet this demand with a diversity of resources for a variety of audiences.

NCR-SARE funds exciting, pioneering projects through several grant programs. Thanks to the hard work of our Administrative Council and grant review teams, we fund projects that truly engage farmers, respond to their needs and seek to identify solutions from the ground up. NCR-SARE’s Research and Education grant program supports highly innovative ideas, but with 341 preproposals received in two years, and funds for 20 projects, we simply cannot fund all the good proposals we receive from research institutions and the farmer-based nonprofits that have been the vanguard of sustainable agriculture for the past 30 years. Our new Partnership grant program allows agricultural professionals to work with farmers to do on-farm research, and we anticipate that this program will serve as a foundation for future funding for our grantees.

We know it is not enough to simply fund projects. We need to make the information generated from the nearly 2,000 projects we have funded in our region accessible. So, we extend our reach with state coordinators who continue to serve as critical resources for local information, new web-based resources, Farmers Forums at winter conferences, and on-site project visits. Visit us on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to see the exciting work happening in the North Central region.

Grants Awarded in the North Central Region

The following is a summary of SARE funding in the North Central Region. State-by-state grant data is also available. To learn about SARE-funded activities and opportunities in North Central states, visit our state program pages. Visit the projects database to search individual projects by type, topic, state and other criteria.

Grant Proposals and Awards, 2014-2015

Grant Type


Full Proposals


Full Proposals






Research and Education 342 55 50 20 $3.4 million
Professional Development2 N/A N/A 17 9 $657,501
Farmer/Rancher N/A N/A 244 82 $907,733
On-Farm Partnership N/A N/A 52 12 $334,137
Graduate Student N/A N/A 86 35 $339,108

1 The use of a preproposal process varies by region. It serves to screen project ideas for the larger and more complex grant programs, to reduce applicants’ proposal preparation burden and the proposal review burden for SARE’s volunteer reviewers.

2 This program was not offered in the region in 2014.

Total Grants Awarded in the North Central Region, 1988-2015

Grant Type Grants Awarded Total Dollar Amount
Research and Education 382 $37 million
Professional Development 149 $8.7 million
Farmer/Rancher 965 $7.2 million
On-Farm Partnership 12 $334,137
Graduate Student 212 $2.1 million
Youth Educator 85 $162,328
Youth 68 $25,062
Regional Total 1,873 $55.5 million

A Head Start for Beginning Farmers

Community Crops, which runs a farmer incubator program in Lincoln, Neb., is helping new farmers succeed during the risky start-up period of their business.

A Localized Approach to Cover Crops and Livestock

SARE: ADVANCING CROP AND LIVESTOCK INTEGRATION Grown on an estimated 10 million acres across the country, cover crops are becoming an indispensable part of crop rotations. To maintain this momentum, the development of reliable information at the local level—how to craft a diversified rotation that pays—needs to keep pace with growth in farmers’ interest. “Obviously […]