SARE awards grants to farmers, educators, and researchers for sustainable agriculture

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program recently awarded grants for the Farmer Rancher and Partnership grant programs.

For the 2018 Farmer Rancher Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $515,000 to 42 grant projects. The NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant program offers competitive grants  to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Those selected to receive funding included the following Wisconsin projects:

  • Jess Bernstein of Community Farm in Mount Horeb, WI was awarded $5,350 for the project, “Pasture Versus Invasives: Competing in Newly-Disturbed Soil Under a Newly-Opened Canopy Transitioning to Silvopasture.”
  • Jeff Endres of Endres Berryridge Farms, LLC in Brooklyn, WI was awarded $22,500 for the project, “Expanding the Understanding and Adoption of Composting Bedded Pack Manure to Reduce Manure Applications on Frozen and Snow Covered Fields around the Yahara Watershed.”
  • Sheri Howard of Frozen in Thyme  in Green Bay, WI was awarded $6,929 for the project, “Viability of Using Freeze Dried Herbs to Improve the Quality and Performance of Value-Added Herbal Products.”
  • Scott Johnson in Evansville, WI was awarded $13,242 for the project, “Comparison of Methods for Growing Potatoes on Market Farms.”
  • Lisa Kivirist of Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B in Browntown, WI was awarded $22,333for the project, “Increasing Value-added Product Sales through Cottage Food Bakery Products Produced in Home Kitchens.”
  • Brad LaFave of Black Dog Fish Farm LLC in Black Creek, WI was awarded $22,404 for the project, “Developing a “Cold Banking” System for Perch which Would Provide an Available Supply of Fish for Indoor Grow-Out Facilities Throughout Winter.”
  • Christopher McGuire of Two Onion Farm in Belmont, WI was awarded $6,979 for the project, “Organic Methods To Promote Branching in Nursery Apple Trees.”
  • Lisa Retainer of Grandview Orchard and Nursery Stock in Antigo, WI was awarded $7,303 for the project, “Rotation of Animals Through an Apple Orchard For Pest and Disease Suppression, Soil Improvement, and the Addition of Viable Revenue Streams.”

 

For the 2018 Partnership Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded almost $408,000 to 14 projects. NCR-SARE’s Partnership Grant Program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. Those selected to receive funding included the following Wisconsin projects:

  • Jason Fischbach of the University of Wisconsin Extension, Bayfield County in Washburn, WI was awarded $29,891 for the project, “Extending the Season in Northern Wisconsin Through Processing Vegetable Production.”
  • Claire Strader of FairShare CSA Coalitionin Madison, WI was awarded $29,999 for the project, “Using Living Aisles and No-Till Planting Strips to Mitigate the Impacts of Intense Rain Events on Organic Vegetable Farms.”
  • Kevin Wolz of the Savanna Institute in Madison, WI was awarded $29,984 for the project, “Agroforestry Education Using the Collective Experience of Pioneer Farmers.”
  • Kellie Zahn of the Stockbridge-Musee Community in Bowler, WI was awarded $29,655 for the project, “Growing for Tomorrow.”

 

For the 2018 Graduate Student program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $214,000 to 18 projects ranging from $11,154 to $12,000.Graduate Student Grant program is a competitive grant program to fund graduate student projects that address sustainable agriculture issues. Those selected to receive funding included the following Wisconsin projects:

  • Jacob Henden along with Professor Christelle Guedot at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI was awarded $11,919 for the project, “Effect of Landscape on Migration of Japanese Beetle into Vineyards across Southern Wisconsin.”
  • Elizabeth McNamee along with Professor Christopher Kucharik at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI was awarded $11,882 for the project, “Understanding Irrigation Technologies and Grower Decision-making in the Wisconsin Central Sands.”
  • Greg Richardson along with Professor Matt Ruark at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI was awarded $11,906 for the project, “The Effect of Best Management Practices on Soil Health in Wisconsin: A Comparison of Soil Biological Measurements Using Long-Term Trials.”

 

For the 2018 Professional Development Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $517,000 to seven projects ranging from $68,970 to $75,000. NCR-SARE Professional Development Program competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community. Those selected to receive funding included the following Wisconsin projects:

  • Jill Hapner with GrassWorks, Inc. in West Bend, WI was awarded $74,610 for the project, “Promoting Grazing as a Sustainable Farming Method to Agency Staff in Wisconsin.”
  • Laura Paine with Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship in Columbus, WI was awarded $74,107 for the project, “Enhancing the Quality of Work-based Beginning Farmer Training Programs Through Trainer Professional Development.” Paine’s project has been named as the 2017 Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year. From 1991-1997 Dr. Ford served as the Program Coordinator for the Southern Region SARE program. She was the NCR-SARE Professional Development Program Coordinator at Kansas State University for 11 years (1999-2009), and supported sustainable agriculture and SARE for more than 20 years. To honor Dr. Ford’s contributions to NCR-SARE, the Administrative Council created the “Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year” award. Each year, one Professional Development Program funded project in the North Central region is given this special designation. The region selects the project that best exemplifies Dr. Ford’s contributions and passion for evaluation, professional development and/or science-based research.
  • Luther Smith with the American Society of Agronomy in Madison, WI was awarded $68,970 for the project, “Sustainable Agronomy.”

 

For the 2018 Research and Education Program, NCR-SARE awarded $2.2 million to 12 projects ranging from $120,000 to $199.944. Those selected to receive funding included the following Wisconsin projects:

  • Chris Blanchard at Purple Pitchfork in Madison, WI was awarded $96,949 for the project, “Increasing Market-Farm Enterprise Resilience in Response to Significant Weather Events, Life Events and Other Threats to Livelihood: A Collaborative Response to Known Quality of Life Concerns.”
  • Julie Dawson at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI was awarded $199,915 for the project, “Improving Farmer Options for Sustainable and Profitable Direct-market Tomato production and Hoop House Management in the Upper Midwest.”
  • Walter Goldstein at Mandarin Institute in Elkhorn, WI was awarded $196,088 for the project, “Testing N Efficient, High Methionine Corn Hybrids with Organic Farmers.”

 

Read descriptions of these projects online at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Recent-Grant-Projects

 

Since 1988, Wisconsin has been awarded $9 million to support 269 projects, including but not limited to, 55 research and/or education projects, 20 professional development projects and 104 producer- led projects. Wisconsin has also received additional SARE support through multistate projects.

The focus for each of the 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. A collection of farm and non-farm citizens, 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 nonprofit organizations.

Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.