NIFA announces partners for SARE

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced partners to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO) and as the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE). NIFA’s SARE program supports farmer-focused solutions that boost production, increase profitability, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance quality of life in rural communities.

The NRCCO for the SARE program and the four regional SARE host institutions will serve for five years from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 through 2022. The NRCCO works with NIFA and the national SARE Operations Committee to administer national reporting, coordination, and communications. Each regional host institution collaborates with NIFA to implement regional competitive grant and outreach programs as guided by the Regional Administrative Council (AC).

“SARE has advanced sustainable local agricultural systems since 1988,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The program represents a citizen-engaged cross-section of professionals in each of the four regions who are committed to the core tenets of sustainable agriculture: productivity, profitability, environmental stewardship, and quality of life.”

The selected NRCCO is University of Maryland. The selected four regional host institutions are:

  • Montana State University (West)
  • University of Minnesota (North Central)
  • University of Vermont (Northeast)
  • University of Georgia (South)

Information about the four SARE regions, the variety of grant programs they offer, and reports from over 6000 SARE-funded projects can be found at www.sare.org(link is external). These many projects offer abundant examples of how SARE applies research and technology to help producers prosper, strengthen stewardship of private lands, encourage rural prosperity, and facilitate economic development. A North Central region farmer/rancher grant to Keith and Brian Berns in Bladen, Nebraska, did just this. On-farm research convinced the Berns brothers, and several neighbors, that using cover crops could simultaneously improve their soil, protect the environment, and increase their crop yields. Their neighbors’ growing interest and need for cover crop seeds led the Berns brothers to start a thriving new business(link is external), supplying cover crop seeds to other farmers in Nebraska and Kansas.

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