Professional Development Program Grant Applications Now Open!!

The Professional Development Program is a “train the trainer” program, providing funding to agricultural professionals to train Cooperative Extension agents, USDA field personnel, and other ag professionals and educators in areas of sustainable agriculture production practices. Training activities may include seminars, workshops, farm tours, on-farm demonstrations, or the marketing and distributing of training materials.

Activities may take place in a single state, multiple states, or throughout the entire Southern region.

The deadline for the Call for Pre-proposals is 11:59 p.m. EST on June 4, 2012. Download the Call for Proposal from the Southern SARE website ( and carefully read the application instructions. All of the guidelines, program goals, review criteria, and the submission process to apply for a Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grant will be found within the Call for Proposal. Failure to follow the submission guidelines may result in the rejection of your proposal.

To be considered for funding a project must meet the following two criteria:

•             Project outcomes must focus on developing sustainable agriculture systems

or moving existing systems toward sustainability.

•             A project’s central purpose must be to provide or enable training.

Research projects and farmer-outreach or education projects do not qualify for this funding.

For 2013, Southern SARE would like one of the funded training projects to emphasize the Limited Resource Farmer Priority Area.

The PDP program is inviting pre-proposals focused on training trainers in each state/territory in the Southern SARE region to help limited resource farmers/ranchers understand how to apply for and participate in Federal and State agricultural programs available to them.  This is not simply to educate on what programs are available, but to develop trainers who can teach how to fill out the necessary documents, determine eligibility and teach what each program provides for in terms of fundable activities.  The training should also teach how each program determines who receives funding.

It should also teach how to reach and educate limited resource farmers.

Priority area pre-proposals should follow the PDP call for pre-proposals.

There’s not set amount of grant funding, but priority will be given to those less than $80,000, in order to fund a broad portfolio of projects. For more information on sustainable agriculture, visit the Southern SARE website.

Call for Pre-proposals are released each March. Selected pre-proposal candidates are invited to submit a full proposal in August with full proposals due in November.

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