Skip to main content

Mini Grants

Iowa SARE Professional Development Program Mini-Grant Program

Iowa’s Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Professional Development Program (SARE PDP) has a limited pool of funds to offer mini-grants, up to $2,000, to Iowa organizations that wish to make professional development opportunities available for educators working in sustainable agriculture.  Mini-grants can be used to plan and offer professional development programming for sustainable agriculture educators, or to help sustainable agriculture educators take advantage of professional development opportunities that are part of another related project or program.  Requests should emphasize training key sustainable agriculture educators in extension, NRCS, private, and not-for-profit sectors, and high school vocational agriculture instructors.  Professional development opportunities should address important and/or emerging issues in the farm community and, when possible and appropriate, use farmers as educators. SARE defines sustainable agriculture as farming and ranching that is ecologically sound, profitable, and socially responsible. 

Mini-grants can be used to fund room rental, travel for participants, registration fees for events, printing/copies, meals when they are part of the event, and speaker honorariums.

Mini-grants will not cover equipment and supplies, such as educational kits, books, etc.

Mini-grant applications will be received through the year and support will depend on available state SARE funds. Projects must be completed within a year of submitting the application.

Requests will be reviewed when received by the Iowa SARE coordinator and/or advisory committee members.  Mini-grant recipients will be notified as soon as possible and funds will be made available shortly thereafter.  Awards will be administered as a sub-contract or professional services agreement with Iowa State University and through reimbursement. Upon completion of the event, award recipients will be expected to provide a copy of the post-event evaluation or survey, list of participants, agenda, and all receipts as well as a brief report.

To apply:
1. Complete the application (type into the boxes in the document) PDP Mini-grant application form.pdf
2. Save the document and email it to; type “SARE mini grant" in the subject line of the email.

QUESTIONS? Contact Christa Hartsook, 515-294-4430,

NOTE: A limited number of mini-grants are available in 2018.

Iowa SARE Professional Development Program Mini-grant Projects funded in 2017-18

Iowa SARE has supported several professional development mini-grant projects:

  • Soil Health Workshops (Taylor County Soil and Water Conservation District)
  • Soil Health Workshop (Webster County Soil and Water Conservation District)
  • Regional Food Systems Working Group Leaders' Training (Lynn Heuss, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)
  • Expanding Local Food Leadership and Meat Marketing  (Jan Libby, Healthy Harvest of North Iowa Regional Food System Working Group)
  • Professional Development Scholarships for Online Vegetable Production Course (Ajay Nair, ISUEO)
  • Agritourism Destination Safety and Health Best Practices Workshops (Kendra Meyer, ISUEO)
  • Refuge Farmer Training (Lutheran Services of Iowa Global Greens)