The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program awarded more than $1.34 million to 82 farmers, ranchers, youth educators, and ag professionals through the Farmer Rancher, Partnership, and Youth Educator competitive grant programs.
Farmer rancher grants
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. In total, 55 grant projects were selected to receive more than $718,000. Those selected to receive funding include:
- Andrew Bowman of Bowman Farm in Oneida, Illinois, was awarded $18,000 for the project, “Simultaneous Interseeding of Corn and Cover Crops at Various Row Spacings.”
- Denice Rackley of Clearfield Stockdogs and Lamb in Bennington, Indiana, was awarded $25,275 for the project, “Low Stress Livestock Management Hands-On Skill Building Workshops.”
- Tabitha Steckler of Hunley Creek Heifer Farm in Ferdinand, Indiana, was awarded $26,745 for the project, “Understanding the Willingness of Farms to Utilize Lung Scanning in their Cattle Operations.”
- Noreen Thomas of Doubting Thomas Farms in Moorhead, Minnesota, was awarded $26,858 for the project, “Local Grains and Fruit for Adjunct Use in Craft Breweries.”
- Traci Bell of Ripple Rock Fish Farms in Frazeysburg, Ohio, was awarded $26,990 for the project, “Improving Oxygen Transfer in a Recirculating Aquaculture System, to Increase Production and Promote the Sustainability of Raising Tilapia Indoors.”
- Erin Gaugler of Gaugler Farm and Ranch in Lemmon, S.D., was awarded $18,000 for the project, “Multi-Species Bale Grazing to Build Soil Health.”
NCR-SARE awarded more than $582,000 to 15 projects through the 2020 Partnership Grant Program. 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 include:
- Jason Grimm of Iowa Valley RC&D in Amana, Iowa, was awarded $39,930 for the project, “Full Trucks for Higher Profits: Transportation Collaboration among Farmers and Food Hubs in the Midwest.”
- Amir Sadeghpour of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, was awarded $39,995 for the project, “Research and Demonstration of Precision Planting of Cover Crop Mixtures for Improving Farm Profit and Soil Health.”
- Jan Joannides of Renewing the Countryside in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was awarded $39,976 for the project, “Soil Sisters: Increasing Women Farmer-led Education and Opportunities Through Local Network-building and Learning Circles.”
- Erin Laborie of the University of Nebraska Extension in Beaver City, Nebraska, was awarded $40,000 for the project, “Balancing Harvest Efficiency and Economics of Grazing Fall Forage Cover Crops.”
- Justin McMechan of University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center in Ithaca, NE was awarded $39,906 for the project, “Insecticide Use in Cover Crops: Understanding Impacts at a Field Scale.”
- Shelly Gradwell-Brenneman of the Valley Stewardship Network in Viroqua, WI was awarded $40,000 for the project, “On-Farm Stewardship Research Group: Farmer-Led Research to Promote Working Lands Conservation for Soil Health, Water Quality, and Biodiversity.”
Youth educator grants
NCR-SARE awarded more than $45,000 to 12 projects through the 2020 Youth Educator Grant Program. The competitive Youth Educator Grant Program supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. Those selected to receive funding include:
- Alexandria Pettigrew with Purdue Extension in Indianapolis, Indiana, was awarded $3,828 for the project “Creating Youth Leaders Using Sustainable Urban Agricultural Practices.”
- Jennifer Hahn with the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition in Luverne, Minnesota, was awarded $4,000 for the project “Youth Soil Health Investigators.”
- Juan Cabrera-Garcia with the University of Missouri Extension in Poplar Bluff, Missourik was awarded $4,000 for the project “Sustainable Hydroponic Farming as a Viable Career Path for the Youth in Butler County Missouri.”
- Julie Garreau with the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, S.D., was awarded $4,000 for the project “Cheyenne River Youth Project: Traditional Lakota Herbs, Fruits, and Roots Garden.”
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.
Read descriptions of these projects online at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Recent-Grant-Projects.