Grant Opportunities

Got innovative youth education ideas? Get funded!

Tips to follow to apply for a grant from the NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Grant Program for sustainable agriculture.
Published October 3, 2011
Dale R. Mutch, Michigan State University Extension
The North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education<> (NCR-SARE) program offers grants for youth and youth educators. These grants are to promote and support youth and youth educators who are teaching or want to learn more about sustainable agriculture. NCR-SARE has funded six youth and six youth educator grants since its inception in 2008. If you want to submit a grant, here are some details you need to follow.
NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Grants
NCR-SARE awards competitive grants to youth and youth educators to provide opportunities for youth in the North Central Region to learn about sustainable agriculture.
Youth Grants ($400 maximum) are for on-farm research, demonstration or education projects by youth ages 8 to 18. Research and demonstration projects are for hands-on efforts to explore sustainable agriculture issues and practices. Education projects involve teaching others about sustainable agriculture or attending a sustainable agriculture conference, workshop or camp.
Youth Educator Grants ($2,000 maximum) are for educators to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. Educator is broadly defined and includes farmers and ranchers, homeschoolers, teachers at grade schools, high schools, community colleges, colleges, universities, non-profit organizations and more.
The Youth and Youth Educator Grant Program typically has about $34,000 available for grants. In 2010, NCR-SARE received 23 Youth proposals and 57 Youth Educator proposals. The NCR-SARE Administrative Council approved 16 Youth grants totaling $6,187 and 15 Youth Educator grants totaling $28,414 from Michigan.
Youth and Youth Educator grants have funded a variety of topics, including alternative grain crops for food or animal feed; raising bees sustainably; composting; education or outreach; endangered livestock breeds; energy conservation; direct marketing; disease, pest, and weed management techniques such as using cover crops and crop rotations; networking; quality of life issues; rotational grazing; soil quality; waste management; water quality; and more.
NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Call for Proposals
The Call for Proposals is issued in August, proposals are due in mid-January and funding for successful proposals is available in the spring. Projects must be completed in 25 months.
To request the Youth and Youth Educator Grant Call for Proposals, contact the NCR-SARE office at 800-529-1342 or e‑mail [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. Follow the directions in the Call for Proposals carefully. Visit the NCR-SARE website<> for a list of resources to help you write your proposal.
Before you write the grant proposal, determine a clear project goal and explore previous sustainable agriculture research or projects on your topic. You can view reports from funded projects on the national SARE website<> (click on the “Project Reports” tab at the top of the page to see the reports).
For additional information on SARE grants and grant writing, contact [email: [log in to unmask]]Dale R. Mutch[/email] or Dean Baas<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, Michigan SARE co-coordinators. Visit the SARE website to get more information on SARE grants in Michigan<>.
If you have questions, contact the NCR-SARE office at 800-529-1342, or Joan Benjamin<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, associate regional coordinator, at 573-681-5545.

Employment Opportunities
Executive Director -  Lansing, MI
The Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) is seeking an Executive Director This person will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Organization. The FBCM is a 501 (C) (3) organization committed to the alleviation of hunger in Michigan and serves as the statewide leadership for its member food banks throughout the state.
The Executive Director is responsible for fulfilling the mission of the FBCM which is to strategically position the FBCM and its member organizations to provide food to their respective communities and to create and influence polices, programs, services and advocacy for ending hunger in Michigan.  It receives public and private funding through contractual agreements with state agencies and private foundations to support food sourcing and transportation of food throughout the state and for advocacy efforts to alleviate hunger in Michigan.  It works closely with the State legislature and State administrative policy and program administrators.
The Executive Director leads a staff of 3 to 5 individuals in the implementation of policies and annual goals and objectives set by the Board of Trustees and oversees the financial, program and administrative management of the organization.  Guidance and direction is provided by the Chairman of the Board, the Board and its Executive Committee. The majority of the Board is comprised of the Directors of regional food banks.
A more complete job description and qualification requirements and additional information about the organization can be found at
Compensation package includes salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and an excellent benefit program.
Applicants are requested to send a resume and cover letter and a minimum of four professional references via electronic mail to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  and by postal mail to the Food Bank Council of Michigan, 501 N. Walnut Street, Lansing, MI 48933.  Applications must be received by October 31, 2011.

Seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow and a Master student in Sustainability in Netherlands
To strengthen our group on sustainability and society, we are currently looking for a Postdoctoral Fellow "Conceptualizing normative frameworks for sustainability" and a Master student on "Sustainability of food, biofuels and agriculture in the media: a news framing analysis". Find the positions in the attachment and below.
It would be very nice if you could forward the position to potential candidates and if our ambitious and nice group received a lot of interesting applications.


Sebastian Olényi
Sebastian Olényi, MSc
PhD Student
TU Delft - Delft University of Technology Julianalaan 67
2628 BC Delft
The Netherlands
T +31 (0)15 27 89308
F +31 (0)15 27 82355
E [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

MS/PhD Student Research Opportunity-January 2012

The Cardoza lab is looking for an outstanding, enthusiastic, self-motivated graduate student with interest in the sustainable agriculture and soil arthropod ecology. Research in my lab employs a multidisciplinary approach to elucidating the mechanisms driving insect interactions with their environment, particularly in agricultural systems.

The selected student will be part of a sustainable agriculture multidisciplinary team evaluating cover crop decomposition and nutrient cycling.  The main focus will be on arthropod community composition and their role in these processes.  As such, candidates with demonstrated enthusiasm for, and experience with, field research are highly encouraged to apply for this position. Experience with sustainable agriculture practices is a plus.

Our labs include a diverse group of researchers interested in ecological and organic agriculture production techniques and their effects on various aspects of soil quality and arthropod and microbial activity.

Requirements:  We welcome inquiries from enthusiastic and dedicated individuals with background in entomology, ecology, biology, agronomy, soil science or related discipline. Minimum GPA 3.0, GRE required. Degree in entomology or a related discipline for MS candidates (BS required), PhD candidates (MS required).

Candidates are required to formally apply to, and must meet the requirements to be accepted by, the North Carolina State University Graduate School
( before consideration. Academic requirements are determined by the Department of Entomology (

For additional information regarding this opportunity contact:
Dr. Yasmin Cardoza,
Department of Entomology,
North Carolina State University,
Campus Box 7613,
Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: (919) 513-1285
E-mail: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

YEARLY SALARY: $17,500 plus tuition and health insurance for MS and $19,000 plus tuition and health insurance for PhD.

Seeking PhD student to study cover crops and other related sustainable ag fields.
PhD position (FRANCE)
To Study: Effects of cover crops on pesticides behavior in cash crop systems
Supervisors: Eric JUSTES – Researcher INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) / Lionel ALLETTO – Assistant professor (Purpan Graduate school of Agriculture / INRA)
Herbicides are among the most important nonpoint-source pollutants in Europe. The objectives fixed by the EU Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/CE) to prevent and control groundwater pollution by herbicides involve a better assessment of environmental impacts of agricultural practices.
The use of a cover crop during the fallow period is considered as a ‘best management practice’ (Ritter et al., 1998). Cover crops are grown specifically to protect the soil against erosion (Malik et al., 2000), reduce nitrate leaching (Justes et al., 1999), improve soil structure, enhance soil fertility (Unger and Vigil, 1998) and to control weeds, pests and pathogens (Swanton et al., 1999; Worsham, 1991). Cover crops are indeed not grown for harvest but rather to fill gaps in either time or space when cash crops would leave the soil bare (Lal et al., 1991; Unger and Vigil, 1998). Cover crops generally increase soil biological activity and organic matter content (Reeves, 1994), which could thus influence herbicide retention, degradation and transport (Alletto et al., 2010). For example, maintaining cover crops residues at the soil surface, as done under conservation tillage, leads to an increase of the interception of applied pesticides (Reddy et al., 1995; Sadeghi and Isensee, 1997). Degradation of pesticides can also be modified by cover crops. Bottomley et al. (1999) showed that winter crop increased the mineralization of 2.4-D in subsurface soil, while others studies showed that degradation could be slowed according to the type of cover crops residues (Gaston et al., 2001; Zablotowicz et al., 1998). Nevertheless, field experiments with cover crops are mainly focused on their effects on nitrate leaching and very little has been published on the effects of cover crops on pesticide transport in soils.  This research program aims at studying the effects of the introduction of cover crops during the fallow period on the water dynamics and pesticides fate in soil, water (soil solution) and air (volatilization). It is financially supported by the ANR (French National Research Agency), by the Midi-Pyrénées region and the Water Agency Adour-Garonne. The three years of the research program are divided in six work packages with field experimentations (on randomized blocs with several cover crop species and management techniques); laboratory experiments (with radiolabelled compounds) and modeling (using the crop model STICS® and the pesticide models PRZM® and PEARL®).
Skills: Master in agronomy or soil sciences; motivation for field and lab experimentations; independent, curious.
Candidature: CV + motivation letter (before 15th October 2011)
Beginning: December 2011
Location : country : France, city : TOULOUSE (INPT-Ecole d’ingénieurs de Purpan, 75 voie du TOEC, 31 076 TOULOUSE cedex 3 / INRA UMR AGIR, Auzeville - BP 52627, 31326 CASTANET-TOLOSAN Cedex).
Correspondence: Lionel ALLETTO, [log in to unmask]
Assistant professor in agronomy
Université de Toulouse – INP-École d'Ingénieurs de PURPAN - UMR 1248 AGIR INRA-INPT
75 voie du TOEC – BP57611 – 31076 TOULOUSE Cedex 3 - FRANCE
Tél : +33 (0) 5 61 15 29 86 – +33 (0) 6 33 71 53 25
Fax : +33 (0) 5 61 15 30 60<>

Vicki Morrone
C. S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
Outreach Specialist for Organic Vegetable and Field Crops
303 Natural Resources
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)
517-353-3834 (Fax)<>