Thursday, September 20, 2012

SARE Grants for Producers Available Now

Each year two Producer Grants are offered by Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) to any farmer or group of farmers in the southern United States. The Call for Proposals is available now and proposals are due November 15, 2012. Both grants provide funding to help a producer improve processes on the farm but do not pay a farmer to farm.


The On-Farm Research Grant Program is a grant that is applied for by a county extension agent, university researcher, or other agencies that regularly work with farmers.  The proposal is to be written with the producer for a research project on their farm that can last up to two years.  The funding is provided for costs of sampling, materials and supplies, field day expenses, travel, and hired labor and can be provided up to a maximum of $15,000.


The Producer Grant is similar but is applied for by the farmer for an innovative sustainable practice that they are not currently doing but would like to try.  The purpose of the grant is to help pay for the risk of trying new practices, and also to provide funding to share the results with other farmers at a field day.  Unlike the On-Farm Research Grant the farmer submits the proposal but an extension agent must still be involved to assist in the project. 


The Producer Grant will pay for the same expenses as the On-Farm Research Grant but is limited to $10,000 for an individual farmer or $15,000 for a producer group. Areas of focus for both grants are: Beneficial Insect Habitat, Alternative Crops/Animals, Organic Agriculture, Sustainable Marketing Projects, Sustainable Grazing Systems, Soil Organic Matter Building/Protection Management, Increasing Sustainability of Existing Farming Practices, Appropriate Technology and Agroforestry/Water Quality.


Contact the UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension Office at (352) 793-2728 x236 to learn more or go to the Southern SARE website at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Market Coming to Center Hill!

The City of Center Hill is starting a Farmers' Market in October and just in time for great farm fresh produce!  It is my hope that this will become a destination market, drawing visitors to the charming and unique town of Center Hill.  Once the "Green Bean Capital", the officials in Center Hill are hoping to encourage the farmers and producers in the area to become vendors, as well as new visitors.  Here is the press release:
The City of Center Hill will be starting a Farmers’ Market this October!  At the Market, locally grown produce, Cottage Foods, and crafts will be available.  Market days will be as follows - the first and third Saturday of each month.  It will be open for buyers from 8:00 AM to Noon.  We will be holding the market in the old downtown area of Center Hill, known as Market Street.   It is our goal to create the best farmers’ market experience for the whole family and our vendors.  We would also like to take this time to inquire about any local musical talents who would be interested in performing at the market.  We are looking for vendors for vegetables, plants, crafts, and cottage good vendors.  At this time, we are taking applications from potential vendors.  For more information please call City Hall at 352-793-4431.