Benefits and Impacts

Benefits and Impacts: 

SARE grants are intended to increase knowledge of sustainable agricultural systems that satisfy human needs, enhance environmental quality, sustain profitability and improve quality of life. The example lists are provided to help you select the appropriate category. This information will be used to categorize projects and aggregate project results.

Economic Sustainability

Improved Income or Profitability

  • Access to price premiums
  • Return on assets
  • Return on labor
  • Positive cash flow
  • Access to capital needed to operate farm/ranch

Improved Market Opportunities

  • Retail sales
  • Retail customers
  • Wholesale sales  
  • Wholesale customers
  • Access to new market channels, e.g. institutions
  • New market collaborations formed with other farms/ranchers

Increased Business/Enterprise Opportunities

  • Value-added enterprises
  • Other new or expanded enterprises

Increased Employment & Labor Opportunities

  • Jobs created
  • Jobs retained
  • Skills development
  • Opportunities for entry into farming/ranching

Environmental Sustainability

Improved Soil Quality/Health

  • Soil organic matter
  • Soil biological activity
  • Soil structure
  • Soil water infiltration
  • Soil erosion (water, wind)
  • Soil water holding capacity

Improved Water Quality

  • Nutrient levels
  • Pesticide levels
  • Sediment levels
  • Biological oxygen demand
  • Temperature
  • Water conveyance efficiency
  • Water use efficiency (irrigation)
  • Salinity/selenium/other contaminant levels

Improved Landscape Diversity/Ecological Services

  • Wildlife habitat (quality and quantity)
  • Biodiversity
  • Pollinators
  • Beneficial insects
  • Wetlands
  • Riparian buffers
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Recreational access

Production and Production Efficiency

Improved Crop Production and/or Production Efficiency

  • Yield per unit of land
  • Input use (fertilizer, pesticides, water, energy(purchased fuel), labor}/unit of output)
  • Crop quality
  • Nutrient use efficiency
  • Pest incidence

Improved Livestock Production and/or Production Efficiency

  • Yield per animal (reproductive efficiency, rate of gain)
  • Yield per unit land (stocking rate, cull rate)
  • Inputs used per unit of livestock production (non-renewable energy, feed, medications, vet service, labor, etc.)
  • Livestock quality and health
  • Disease and parasite incidence

Social Sustainability

Improved Agriculture and Food System Infrastructure

  • New processors
  • New market outlets
  • New distribution arrangements
  • Farm/ranch friendly policies

Improved Food Accessibility

  • Sales in underserved communities
  • New market outlets in the community
  • Food waste reduction
  • Food affordability

Improved Quality of Life

  • Satisfaction with farming/ranching
  • Work/life balance
  • Leisure time
  • Community connections
  • Networking with other farmers/ranchers
  • Farm/ranch succession plans
  • Worker conditions — rate of pay, availability of benefits
  • New knowledge, skills and leadership capacity in next generation to strengthen rural and urban communities