The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR SARE) program has announced projects — including several from Ohio — recommended for funding for the Farmer Rancher, Partnership, and Youth Educator competitive grant programs. NCR SARE awarded more than $1.34 million to 82 farmers, ranchers, youth educators, and ag professionals across these grant programs.
Farmer Rancher grants
Fifty-five grant projects were selected to receive more than $718,000 through NCR SARE’s Farmer Rancher grant program, which supports those who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, and demonstration and education projects. Ohio projects funded include:
• Traci Bell, Ripple Rock Fish Farms, Frazeysburg. Bell 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.”
• Jessica Burns, Kelly’s Working Well Farm, Chagrin Falls. Burns was awarded $8,988 for the project “Growing Seedlings and Skills for Agroforestry: Integration of Woody Seedling and Annual Vegetable Production.”
• Christine Morrow, Rocky Knob Farms of Ohio, McConnelsville. Morrow was awarded $8,489 for the project “Improving Accelerated Lambing System Through Data Management.”
• Tom Phillips, StarkFresh, Canton. Phillips was awarded $9,000 for the project “Mushroom Cultivation as a Way to Get Out of Poverty.”
NCR SARE awarded more than $582,000 to 15 projects in its Partnership grant program. This program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, and demonstration and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. Ohio projects funded include:
• Andrew Kirk, Ohio State University, Kingsville. Kirk was awarded $39,922 for the project “Low-Spray Rosé: Alternative Fruits for Rosé Cider Production.”
• Leslie Schaller, ACEnet (Appalachian Center for Economic Networks), Athens. Schaller was awarded $39,407 for the project “Expanding Appalachia Ohio’s Artisanal Meat Production.”
Youth Educator grants
For the 2020 Youth Educator grant program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $45,000 to 12 projects that support educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. No Ohio projects were chosen in this grant cycle.
Read descriptions of these projects online.
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 members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. The administrative council 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.