NSAC's Blog

Program Roundup – SARE Program Doing More with Limited Funding

April 16, 2015

Editor’s Note — This is the latest in a series of periodic blog posts on the latest happenings in each Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) regions as they roll out project solicitations and announce grant awards.

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education or SARE program is a farmer driven research, education, and extension competitive grants program designed to help advance sustainable agriculture across the whole of American agriculture, including beginning and minority or socially disadvantaged farmers. SARE is administered through four regional councils of producers, researchers, educators, and government representatives that set SARE policies and make grants:

SARE’s four regional offices administer three primary grant programs, Research and Education, Professional Development, and Producer Grants. Some regions also offer additional grants for community innovation, graduate student research, agricultural professionals conducting on-farm research, and region-specific initiatives.

SARE Funding Needs Your Support

While SARE has funded the development of a wealth of information on cover crops, rotational grazing, diversification, and a large variety of other sustainable agriculture topics since its creation in 1988, many worthy projects have gone unfunded. Only six percent of SARE Research & Education grant applications could be funded in 2013 due to severe funding constraints.

SARE is authorized in the farm bill to receive up to $60 million a year, but it has never received more that $22.7 million in annual appropriations. NSAC is pushing for an increase in funding to $30 million in Fiscal Year 2016. This increase will help worthy sustainable agriculture research projects get going and modestly increase the success rate.

Interested in supporting SARE? Go to NSAC’s action page to sign-up to help take action in support of SARE and other sustainable agriculture policies and programs.

North Central SARE News

Utilizing North Central SARE funding, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting two Spotted Winged Drosophila Fruit Fly workshops. The first will be April 20 in Iowa City, IA and the second is April 27 in Clarion, IA. Click the links to find more information on the Iowa City and Clarion workshops.

The Spotted Winged Drosphila has been detected in seven North Central SARE states. The fly causes damage to fruit, by laying its eggs in healthy undamaged fruit. Thin skinned fruits such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes are especially susceptible.

North Central SARE is seeking nominations for its “NCR-Hero” recognition. This recognition seeks to honor those that have made significant contributions to North Central SARE. It has been awarded since 2012 and is coordinated by the North Central SARE Alumni Organization. For more information on how to nominate someone see NCR-SARE’s Hero Recognition Program page.

Southern SARE News

On April 3, Southern SARE announced the award of it Research and Education (R&E) grants, totaling $946.000. In recent years, due to flat funding, Southern SARE’s historic success rate for R&E grants has been around 6 percent with the number of applications far outstripping the available funds. This is one of the reasons NSAC supports increasing funding to SARE from $22.7 million to $30 million.

R&E grants are given for up to 3 years for interdisciplinary research on a whole systems approach to sustainable agriculture. The R&E grants awarded for 2015 include:

  • Beyond Fresh: expanding markets for sustainable value-added food products in Texas; National Center for Appropriate Technology; San Antonio, TX
  • Jump Starting New Pawpaw Variety Production for the Industry: Developing grafting and top working approaches for growers; Kentucky State University; Frankfort, KY
  • Breed Types and Cover Crops Provide Alternatives for Sustainable Year-round Supply of Forage-fed Beef for Small Farms in the Gulf Coast Region: Research and on-farm demonstrations; Louisiana State University; Jeanerette, LA
  • Multisectoral and Transdisciplinary Coalition to Spearhead the Development of a cohesive Network of Local, Limited-resources Urban Community Farmers for Sustainable Agriculture using the Capital City of Puerto Rico as case study; Universidad Metropolitana Center for Sustainable Development Studies; Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Western SARE News

The Western SARE region has had a lot going on recently, including the recent appointment of three new members to its Administrative Council and the release of its request for proposals for several grant programs. Western SARE is also accepting applications for its Western Sustainability Pioneer Award by May, 15, 2015.

Three individual were appointed as new members of the Western SARE Administrative Council, its governing body.

  • Jim Farrar, Western IPM Center
  • Brian Higginbotham, Utah State Extension
  • Bryce Wrigley, Alaska Flour Company/Wrigley Farms

 Western SARE is currently accepting proposal for several competitive grants programs with varying deadlines. These include:

  • Graduate Student, due May 13, 2015
  • Research and Education, pre-proposals due June 3, 2015
  • Professional Development, due October 28, 2015
  • Farmer/Rancher, due December 2, 2015
  • Professional + Producers, due December 2, 2015

Learn more about each type of grant from Western SARE.

Northeast SARE News

Northeast SARE has several upcoming deadlines for its grants.

  • Graduate Student, due May 13, 2015
  • 2016 Research and Education grants, Application release mid-spring, pre-proposals due June 30, 2015
  • 2016 Professional Development grants, applications released mid-spring, pre-proposals due June 30, 2015

There are several events coming up in the Northeast SARE region including a pollinator conservation short course in Dover, MA on May 20.

Categories: Research, Education & Extension

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