Producers looking for new ways of doing business because of low commodity prices could be eligible for a grant to help them make that transition.

For the past nine years, the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has awarded grants to producers who test, evaluate and adapt new enterprises and practices such as direct marketing, organic farming, rotational grazing, precision farming, and soil conservation, or anything else that would help their farm become more economically viable, environmentally friendly or socially acceptable.

Individual producers can compete for one-year grants of up to $5,000 and groups of three or more producers from separate operations can compete for two-year grants of up to $15,000. To quality, applicants must identify specific problems and potential solutions. Those selected to receive grants must be willing to write a report of their findings and send it to the North Central Region SARE office. Producers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin may apply for the grants.

To apply for a SARE grant, contact your county extension sustainable agriculture coordinator, or contact the North Central Region SARE office in Lincoln, Neb., at (402) 472-7081. The deadline for applications is March 30, with funding scheduled to begin in fall 2001.

Ohio State University