Approximately 85% ($23,000) of the funds Montana receives will be used for a mini-grant program that awards travel funds, scholarships, and small grants to further advance the WSARE mission of professional development that improves sustainable practices in the state. These grants are usually $2500 or less and may be used to travel to training, hold workshops, tours or events that provide professional development to Extension, NRCS, non-profits organizations (AERO, MOA Etc.), or directly to producers/landowners. A small portion of the grant will be used for the coordinator to attend the annual meetings ($1234), 11.11% ($2864) for indirect costs, and the remainder is used to promote the face of WSARE through grant-writing workshops, outreach, publications, education and training by the coordinator.
Project objectives from proposal:
The objectives of the project are to increase knowledge, skills and abilities, of professionals to provide relevant and useable guidance on sustainable agriculture, holistic farming, ecosystem preservation and financial stability for ranchers and farmers. As a result of this, the advisory committee and the coordinator are planning a meeting in 2019 to revise the evaluation criteria and reporting requirements to more accurately reflect the mission of WSARE.
The call for proposals (CFP) will be sent out the first week of January 2020, with applications due by mid-February. The review committee will review, rank and identify the successful applicants and the coordinator will send letters no later than March 20. Projects must be completed by October 31, (unless otherwise noted) and a report is due to the coordinator by December 31, 2020. Reports must include impacts, outcomes and evaluation of the project.
A final report to WSARE will be submitted by the Coordinator before March 1, 2021. The coordinator will also provide a grant writing workshops at MSU Extensions Annual Conference to help improve the success of applicants, increase awareness of WSARE goals, mission and objectives and to provide outreach to interested parties on sustainable agriculture.
The review committee and the coordinator plan to meet in 2019 to review the application process, ensure that the goals and objective align with WSARE, and to modify the CFP to more accurately reflect the expected outcomes and evaluation protocols.