Six Wisconsin Farmers Receive Grants for Sustainable Agriculture Projects

Six Wisconsin farmers have been awarded SARE grants for 2016.

  • Michael Foster of Wilderness Springs Inc/ The Trout Farm LLC in New London, WI was recommended to receive a $15,000 grant for the project, “Remodeling an Operating Cold Water Trout Farm into a Combination Cold /Cool Water Fish Farm.”
  • Katie Hancock of Cable Community Farm in Cable, WI was recommended to receive a $7,500 grant for the project, “Investigating the Relative Effectiveness of Seedlings versus Direct Seeding Pumpkins for Earliest and Biggest Yield on a Community Farm.”
  • Laura Manthe of Standing Stone Farm in De Pere, WI was recommended to receive a $17,637 grant for the project, “Traditional Fertilizer, Modern Applications for Iroquois White Corn.”
  • Marie Raboin of Bending Branches Cidery in Barneveld, WI was recommended to receive an $18,410 grant for the project, “Enhancing Economic Stability by Building Financial Resilience: A Model for Collaborative Learning Among Beginning Farmers in Southwest Wisconsin.”
  • Matthew Raboin of Bantum Fruit Farm in Barneveld, WI was recommended to receive a $7,500 grant for the project, “Apples for Artisanal Cider: Understanding the Characteristics of Single Varietals.”
  • William West of Blue Iris Fish Farm, LLC in Black Creek, WI was recommended to receive a $20,315 grant for the project, “Developing a Self-Funded Aquaculture Program for High Schools.”

More than 40 grant projects in 12 states were selected to receive a total of more than $400,000 through this NCR-SARE grant program, which offers competitive grants for farmers and ranchers who are exploring sustainable agriculture in America’s Midwest. Read descriptions of these projects online at The call for proposals for the next round of SARE farmer-rancher grants will likely come out in August and be due in November or December.

The Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects.

The focus for NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, the project’s relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE’s goals, among other factors specific to each grant program.

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. The AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofits.