Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Regional Host Institution

The purpose of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program is to encourage research and outreach designed to increase knowledge concerning agricultural production systems that:

  1. maintain and enhance the quality and productivity of the soil;
  2. conserve soil, water, energy, natural resources, and fish and wildlife habitat;
  3. maintain and enhance the quality of surface and ground water;
  4. protect the health and safety of persons involved in the food and farm system;
  5. promote the well-being of animals; and
  6. increase employment opportunities in agriculture (7 U.S.C. 5801 and 5811).

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Grazing improves soil health, study finds

by Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife

Dr. Richard Teague might be considered a cowboy of a different kind. He’s not rounding up stray cattle, but rather wrangling the best management practices on ranches to help the cattle and their owners.

Teague, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research ecologist at Vernon, grew up on a farm and knows firsthand there are some unintended consequences from traditional long-standing agricultural practices that might not readily be seen. Continue reading

NIFA Seeks Partners for SARE National Coordinating Office and Regional Hosts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a new competitive opportunity to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office or as one of the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE).

SARE’s four regions offer competitive grants for farmers and ranchers, researchers, agricultural educators, and graduate students in the United States. Grants invest in applied research and education on the core components of sustainable agriculture: productivity, profitability, environmental stewardship and quality of life. In particular, research and outreach projects seek to increase knowledge of sustainable agricultural production systems that increase employment opportunities and profitability in agriculture; maintain soil quality, conserve water, natural resources, and wildlife habitat; preserve the quality of surface and ground water; protect the health and safety of people involved in the food and farm system; and promote the well-being of farm animals. Continue reading

University of Kentucky resources help growers manage diseases sustainably

by Candace Pollock-Moore, Southern SARE

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, has developed a series of outreach materials for small fruit producers to aid in disease management.

“Like many diseases of small fruit, they are best managed using cultural practices, such as sanitation. Thus, we developed outreach materials to assist fruit growers with virus and disease management,” said Nicole Ward Gauthier, University of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist. Continue reading

Southern SARE Research & Education Grants Call for Proposals for FY2018 Now Open

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released its Call for Proposals for the 2018 Research & Education Grants program.

This year, applicants have a choice of whether they want to submit a systems research-based pre-proposal, or an education-based pre-proposal. Education pre-proposals allow applicants to focus on educational activities, in which their cooperating partners and intended audiences would be involved. Education proposals provide a synopsis of the proposed educational approach to mitigate or solve a problem and encourage farmer adoption of recommended practices or strategies. SSARE is looking for Education pre-proposals of around $50,000.

USDA Invests $17.5 Million for Resilient Rural Communities and a Sustainable Agriculture Economy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 47 grants totaling nearly $17.5 million to improve sustainable agriculture and help rural communities thrive. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“A number of factors are involved in achieving economic success in rural communities,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These NIFA investments will help us understand the social and behavioral factors that inform decision-making in agriculture, which can help rural communities thrive.” Continue reading

NC State University leading national initiative on cover crops

In Southeast Farm Press

Scientists from North Carolina State University are joining with others across the country to promote soil health by developing and helping farmers adopt new cover crops.

Made possible by a $2.2 million grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, the new $6.6 million research initiative aims to “to get new cover crop solutions into the hands of those who use them or will be using them,” according to Twain Butler, a research agronomist with the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation who is leading the project. Continue reading