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sustainable agriculture research and education (SARE)

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) ( program is a decentralized competitive grants and education program operating in every state and island protectorate. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the program is run by four regions (North CentralNortheastSouth and West) hosted by land-grant institutions. SARE Outreach provides communication and technical support at the national level. 

West Virginia belongs to the Northeast region ( along with Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

Northeast SARE offers a number of grant programs to farmers, educators, researchers, nonprofits, and others who work with farmers.  You can also search SARE's national database for grant project results.  

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program has released the call for 2021 Farmer Grant applications. Proposals are due online by Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. ET. Farmer Grants provide research funds for commercial farms to explore new ideas in almost any aspect of production, marketing and other topics that influence successful farming in the 12 Northeast states and the District of Columbia. Reviewers look for innovation, potential for improved sustainability and results that will be useful to other farmers. Application materials, including detailed instructions and supporting documents, are posted on the Northeast SARE website at Questions about the grant program should be directed to Candice Huber, grant program coordinator, at

SARE also provides a wide range of educational resources, including books and bulletins published by the national SARE Outreach office to publications developed by grant recipients.

Northeast SARE will host a free Farmer Grant webinar on Oct. 6 from noon to 1 p.m. Huber will provide information on program eligibility, how to apply, types of projects SARE funds, allowable expenses and more. She will be joined by Farmer Grant recipient Jennifer Wilhelm of Fat Peach Farm, Madbury, NH who will share her experiences with the program. The webinar will be recorded for future viewing. To register, visit

Farmer Grant projects must be conducted in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia or Washington, D.C. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years. Applicants must work with a technical advisor (eg., a Cooperative Extension educator, nonprofit staff, crop consultant, veterinarian, another farmer, etc.) who provides support and advice to the farmer applicant.

While the program operates regionally, state programs deliver train-the-trainer programs locally and provide outreach in each Northeast state.  West Virginia has two state coordinators, Barbara Liedl at West Virginia State University and Doolarie Singh-Knights at WVU.  

SARE National Logo
Agriculture in action with herd of cows in a field.

Upcoming Events & Activities

2021 Northeast Farmer Grant Applications 
November 17, 2020 5 p.m. ET
Details can be found at

Webinar-Applying for a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Recorded on October 6, 2020

Recent WV Farmer grant awardees:  

FNE18-907 - Here Comes the Sun: Solar Power as Energy Source in Remote High Tunnel Ventilation Systems

A comparison of automatid (solar powered and grid powereed) and manually operated high tunnel ventilation systems for crop yield, quality, health and labor input in West Virginia.

FNE17-870 - Determination of optimum planting dates for strawberry production in southern West Virginia

Optimum planting dates for strawberries measuring weed pressure, labor, and production.

FNE17-882 - Defining honeybee pollen sources in Appalachia, July through October

Examination of forage plants and pollen intake of honey bees in Appalachia West Virginia.

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