Grant writing workshops to be held in January, February

Grant writing workshops to be held in January, February

By By Debra Levey Larson, U of I Media/Communications Specialist

URBANA—Illinois producers and agriculture professionals can find out how to write grant proposals for two sustainable agriculture programs—North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR SARE) Producer Grant Program and the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s C-2000 Sustainable Agriculture Program at three workshops in January and February.

The workshops will be from 10 a.m. until noon on Jan. 28 in Mount Vernon, Ill., Jan. 29 in Lincoln and Feb. 6 in Sycamore. Each workshop will offer individual grant writing assistance until 3 p.m.

“The workshops will include information to help farmers compete for grants from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR SARE) Producer Grant Program,” said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, who is coordinating the workshops through the University of Illinois Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Producers interested in research, demonstrations or educating others about profitable, environmentally sound, socially responsible agricultural are encouraged to apply, she said. “Those persons interested in writing an NCR SARE Producer Grant, are asked to bring a brief written summary of their proposed research idea. The goal is to have participants leave the workshop with a rough draft of a proposal,” said Cavanaugh-Grant.

“The Producer Grant Program emphasizes the importance of farmer-driven research and indigenous knowledge,” said Ken Schneider, former farmer/rancher and NCR SARE’s producer grant liaison. “We support innovative farmers and ranchers looking for ways to overcome obstacles to a sustainable option.”

In 2003, producer grants will be awarded in amounts up to $6,000. Group projects that involve three or more producers can be funded up to the $18,000 maximum. Funds will become available to successful applicants in fall 2003.

This year’s workshops will also include information about the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s C-2000 Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program. The program provides funds for agencies, organizations and individuals for (1) on-farm research or demonstration; (2) outreach and education; and (3) university research.

The workshops, conducted by the University of Illinois Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, will explain both programs and requirements to receive funding. Cavanaugh-Grant and Dan Anderson from the U of I, along with Mike Rahe from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, will be leading the workshops.

A producer grant recipient will be at each workshop program to relate the farmer experience in the NCR SARE Producer Grant Program. The workshops are co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Society.

Although there is no charge for the workshops, registration is required. Registration is available online at http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/asap/topics/grantwriting.html, or by contacting Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at (217) 968-5512, or cvnghgrn@uiuc.edu.

Information about the NCR SARE Producer Grant Program is available at http://www.sare.org/ncrsare/02producercfp.PDF. Information about the IDOA program is available at http://www.agr.state.il.us/C2000/index.html.

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