Documents for Managing a Grant

Find all of the document, processes, policies, and expectations necessary in order to manage your grant and report your progress.

Western SARE Subaward Process

If your proposal has been selected for funding, your institution/organization will enter into a Subaward Agreement with Montana State University (MSU), the Western Region Host Institution. Within two-to-four weeks of notification from Western SARE that your proposal will be funded, you will receive a follow up email from the Western SARE Fiscal Manager with instructions for initiating the subaward process. 

The Western SARE Fiscal Manager will request, at a minimum, the following documents:

  • Subrecipient Commitment Form – completed and signed; this is typically completed and signed by the grant recipient’s Authorized Official.
  • Scope of Work (SOW) for the project – text for the SOW can be pulled from the relevant sections of the proposal

Additional documents that may be requested include:

  • Revised budget and justification, typically for one or more of the following reasons:
    • Errors in the proposal budget were found, e.g., incorrect IDC calculation
    • Insufficient budget detail was provided in the proposal budget
    • A proposed expense is not allowable and must therefore be re-budgeted
    • The subrecipient PI notifies Western SARE of changes that need to be made to proposal budget, e.g., shifting funds from one budget category to another.   
    • IRB/IACUC approvals, if applicable, and not provided at time of proposal submission. 

The above documentation is reviewed and then forwarded with a formal request to initiate your subaward to MSU’s Subaward Coordinator in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP).  

Once approved for opening, the MSU Subaward Coordinator drafts the Subaward Agreement. The draft agreement is sent via email to all contacts listed on the Subrecipient Commitment Form, the Western SARE Regional Coordinator and Fiscal Manager; the agreement should be signed by the Subrecipient’s Authorized Official and returned to the MSU Subaward Coordinator. 

MSU’s Authorized Official then signs the agreement. A digital copy of the fully executed Subaward Agreement is returned to all subrecipient contacts and Western SARE. The subrecipient institution may begin invoicing MSU for project expenditures. Details and requirements for invoicing are outlined in the Subaward Agreement

In general, once the Subrecipient PI/Institution has provided the Western SARE Fiscal Manager with ALL the required documentation, the fully executed Subaward Agreement should be in place within four-to-eight weeks.

Western SARE and USDA Policies and Requirements

All SARE grant recipients must read and subscribe to the spirit and letter of the policies, requirements and restrictions listed in the following special notes:

1. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs and marital or familial status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternate means of communication of program information (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact  Western SARE.

2. The Western SARE program considers all funded proposals and subsequent reports and related information to be in the public domain. A prime directive from Congress in the SARE enabling legislation ensures that results from all studies be provided to producers and other interested parties in a timely and effective manner. Successful applicants (and their institutions) must agree to grant to Montana State University, the host institution, an irrevocable royalty-free, nonexclusive right and license to use, reproduce, make derivative works, display, publish and perform any copyrights or copyrighted materials (including any computer software and its documentation and/or databases) developed under Subcontract for the purpose of education and research or to the extent required to meet MSU’s obligations under its Prime Award. All reports related to funded projects will be made available to all interested parties in printed, electronic or other means of communication without discrimination. Names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of investigators (from funded projects) may be provided to interested news entities, producers or organizations for subsequent inquiries.

3. The Western SARE Administrative Council will give considerable weight to reporting records (length of time that reports are overdue, etc.) of previous recipients of SARE contracts or grants when evaluating projects for any future Western SARE funding. Grant recipients are encouraged to submit reports in a timely manner, as this will affect Administrative Council decisions.

Reporting Expectations

Please review reporting expectations by grant type.

Research and Education Reporting Expectations

Professional Development and Research to Grassroots Reporting Expectations

Farmer/Rancher Reporting Expectations

Professional+Producer Reporting Expectations

Graduate Student Reporting Expectations

Guidelines for Acknowledging Funds

Proper citation of Western SARE is required on all printed or electronic materials produced in conjunction with your project or when referencing the project itself. The proper name to be used is “Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education” on first reference and “Western SARE” on subsequent references.

We also encourage you to include the Western SARE logo,the NIFA logo, and where feasible, the Western SARE website, and phone number, 406-994-4785. 


The following acknowledgement should be included on all materials for your Western SARE project: 

“This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number XXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX through the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under project number [reference your WSARE project number]. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.” 

The USDA-NIFA Award Number can be found in your Subaward Agreement with MSU (see Attachment 2A); your SARE Project Number is referenced on Attachment 4A, and can also be found when you login to   


Whenever practical, the Western SARE logo and NIFA’s official identifier should be included in publications, posters, websites and presentations resulting from their award. 

  • The Western SARE logo and guidelines for use. 


All publications and other materials, except scientific articles or papers published in scientific journals, MUST contain the following statement: 

“Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Press Announcements

The awardee is responsible for acknowledging NIFA support during news media interviews that discuss work supported by NIFA.

ADA Requirements for Video and Audio

When linking to or uploading a video or podcast audio in the project database, you agree to provide captions in order to meet accessibility compliance requirements. 

You have the following options to provide captions:

  1. Upload the video to your own YouTube channel and turn on auto-captioning. Add the YouTube link into the project report. This is the preferred option.
  2. Send the video to your regional communication specialists to upload to the regional SARE YouTube channel which provides auto-captioning and the regions can embed the YouTube into the project report. 
  3. Include transcript files along with videos or podcasts when uploading them to the media library or when linking to videos or podcasts on third party sites.

In order to meet ADA compliance requirements, videos must include captions. However, adding captions to videos has benefits that extend beyond accessibility. Captions can boost the amount of time a viewer stays engaged with a video, enable viewers to watch videos on mute (a common practice), and help videos perform better on search engines. 

Western SARE Survey

Project leaders should use this survey and evaluation tool at workshops and other events that take place as part of their Western SARE-funded project.

No-Cost Extension

Western SARE grantees may request a no-cost extension for their project if it will not be completed by the project end date. Grantees are required to submit their requests at least 60-days prior to the project end date. 

No-cost extensions are not guaranteed. Your request must be complete, address all questions, and include sufficient justification. Please note: the fact that funds are expected to remain unobligated at the expiration of the award is not in itself sufficient to justify a no-cost extension. You may request an extension of one-to-twelve months in length; however, bear in mind that the approved length of your no-cost extension will be dependent upon the amount of time remaining on the USDA-NIFA Cooperative Agreement from which your grant is funded. Example: for grants awarded in 2019, no extensions beyond December 31, 2022 will be permitted. 

Second or subsequent no-cost extension are discouraged. However, if you are requesting a second or subsequent no-cost extension, you must submit another request. Additional justification addressing why the project could not be completed within the previous extension period must be provided, addressing extenuating circumstances such as weather-related events, personnel changes, unavailability of necessary equipment, etc. Remaining funds or poor management is not considered an extenuating circumstance. 

Please note: depending on when your Western SARE grant was awarded, there is some variation to the request process. Please be sure to submit your no-cost extension to the appropriate institution. 

For ALL Western SARE grants awarded AFTER January 1, 2019, requests must be sent to the current Host Institution, Montana State University.  Please follow the below instructions: 

Please complete the Western SARE No-Cost Extension form and email it to the following: 

Clayton Marlow
Western SARE Regional Coordinator
Montana State University

Jen von Sehlen
Western SARE Fiscal and Contract Manager
Montana State University

Important note: an additional progress report will be required should the extension fall during the timeframe when one would have been due (see your MSU Subaward Agreement, Attachment 4A for details).

For Western SARE grants awarded BEFORE January 1, 2019, requests must be sent to the previous Host Institution, Utah State University.  Please follow the below instructions: 

Your request for a no-cost extension of time to complete your project should be separate from your progress report and should be sent to the email addresses noted below. The request should contain: 

1) the amount of additional time required to complete project objectives and a justification for the extension; 

2) a summary of progress to date; 

3) an estimate of funds expected to remain unobligated on the scheduled expiration date; 

4) a projected timetable to complete the portion(s) of the project for which the extension is being requested; 

5) Western SARE grant number and University contract number

Email your request to Dr. Rhonda Miller and Una Sweeten at Utah State University:

For ALL Professional Development Program (PDP) grantees (State Implementation, Enhanced State, and Professional Development), please include the WSARE PDP staff on your (email) request

Jenna Meeks
Associate PDP Coordinator

Jill West
PDP Office Assistant