The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program is pleased to announce the projects selected for funding for the Research and Education, Graduate Student, and Professional Development competitive grant programs. Forty-nine projects were awarded a total of more than $4 million through these three NCR-SARE grant programs, which offer competitive grants for researchers, graduate students, organizations, agricultural educators, and others who are exploring sustainable agriculture in America’s Midwest.

For the 2019 Research and Education program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $3.12 million to 17 projects ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. The Research and Education Program is a competitive grant program for researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. The following awarded projects are in order by state and then by last name:

• Christina Gish Hill with Iowa State University was awarded $200,000 for the project, “Reuniting the Three Sisters: Native American Intercropping and Soil Health.”

• Ashley Kittle with the Tallgrass Prairie Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa was awarded $199,547 for the project, “Towards Widespread Adoption of Prairie Conservation Strips: Case Studies Increase Expertise of Professional Farm Managers, Landowners, and Farmers.”

• Kim Hiller with Kansas State University was awarded $148,700 for the project, “Animal Fiber Production for the Fashion Supply Chain: Developing Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum for High School Young Women.”

• Gregory Bonito with Michigan State University was awarded $199,993 for the project, “Cultivating a Morel Mushroom Industry in the North Central United States.”

• Steve Yanni with Bay Mills Community College in Michigan was awarded $199,987 for the project, “Eastern Upper Michigan Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum Initiative.”

• Rachel Armstrong with Farm Commons in Duluth, Minnesota was awarded $198,199 for the project, “Empowering Sustainable Farmers with Proactive, Community-Centered Farm Law Education, Resources, and Networks.”

• Julie Grossman with the University of Minnesota was awarded $199,803 for the project, “Summer Cover Crop System Management: New Options for Upper Midwest Vegetable Producers.”

• Chryseis Modderman with the University of Minnesota Extension was awarded $50,000 for the project, “Promoting Manure Composting for Livestock Operations.”

• Benjamin Geaumont with North Dakota State University was awarded $199,922 for the project, “Examining the Role of Shelterbelts (Tree Plantings) on Early-Season Honey Production and Hive Growth of Honeybees in the North Central Region (NCR).”

• Burton Johnson with North Dakota State University was awarded $199,998 for the project, “Perennial Flax: A New Crop for Sustainable Agriculture in the Northern Plains.”

• Miranda Meehan with North Dakota State University was awarded $198,168 for the project, “Grazing Management Practices to Enhance Soil Health in the Northern Great Plains.”

• Mary Drewnoski with University of Nebraska-Lincoln was awarded $199,642 for the project, “Cow/Calf Production with Limited Perennial Grass: Capitalizing on Opportunities to Integrate Cropping and Cattle Systems.”

• Imed Dami with The Ohio State University was awarded $199,971 for the project, “Towards Resilient and Sustainable Grape Production in the North Central Region with Renewable Mulching Systems.”

• Hannah Scott with The Ohio State University was awarded $161,632 for the project, “Sustainable Production and Marketing Using the Cooperative Model for a Student-Managed School Farm Cooperative.”

• Krista Ehlert with South Dakota State University was awarded $122,488 for the project, “Investigating Rangeland Systems and Practices: Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum in South Dakota.”

• Ruth Genger with the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $199,534 for the project, “Building Resilience to Extreme Rainfall Events: Cover Crop-Based Reduced Tillage Strategies for Diversified Organic Vegetable Farms.”

• Kevin Wolz with The Savanna Institute in Madison, Wisconsin was awarded $199,893 for the project, “Establishing a Network of Agroforestry Research and Demonstration Farms.”

For the 2019 Graduate Student program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $278,000 to 20 projects ranging from $8,226 to $15,000. Graduate Student Grant program is a competitive grant program to fund graduate student projects that address sustainable agriculture issues. The following awarded projects are in order by state and then by last name:

• Andrea Wagner along with Dr. Monica Haddad at Iowa State University was awarded $15,000 for the project, “A Comparative Analysis of Iowa Watershed Organizations: Structure, Function, and Social Infrastructure.”

• Amanda Weidhuner along with Dr. Amir Sadeghpour at Southern Illinois University Carbondale was awarded $14,978 for the project, “What Soil Ecosystem Services and Economic Benefits Does 50 years of No-Till Provide in Contrast to other Tillage Practices in Southern Illinois?”

• Jack Zinnen along with Dr. Jeffrey Matthews at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was awarded $14,942 for the project, “Applying Ecological Treatments to Boost Yields Among Restoration Target Species of Seed Production Areas.”

• Rachel Jarrett along with Dr. Darrin Karcher at Purdue University was awarded $10,409 for the project, “Sulfur Use for Northern Fowl Mite Control in Poultry Systems.”

• Shannon Speir along with Dr. Jennifer Tank at the University of Notre Dame was awarded $13,351 for the project, “Using High-Frequency, Real-Time Nitrate Data to Understand the Potential for Cover Crops to Improve Storm Resiliency in the Face of a Changing Climate.”

• Randi Lesagonicz along with Dr. Amy Russell at Grand Valley State University was awarded $14,889 for the project, “Detection of Tarnished Plantbugs, Apple Maggots, and Codling Moths in Bats’ Diet in Southern Michigan Apple Orchards.”

• Nicholas Medina along with Dr. Diarmaid Ó Foighil at the University of Michigan was awarded $14,140 for the project, “Incorporating Biochar into Urban Agroecology.”

• Michael Metiva along with Dr. Zachary Hayden at Michigan State University was awarded $14,563 for the project, “Improving N Management in Processing Carrots Using Drone-Based Remote Sensing for more Sustainable Production.”

• Daniel Priddy along with Dr. Daniel Brainard at Michigan State University was awarded $10,738 for the project, “Sustainable Weed Control: In-Row Weed Cultivation Strategies for Midwest Vegetable Growers.”

• Ben Tirrell along with Dr. Bruno Basso at Michigan State University was awarded $14,055 for the project, “Integrating Manure Composition from Portable Spectroscopy with Simulation Modeling to Evaluate Long-Term Dynamics of Manure Mineralization and Sustainability of Cropping Systems.”

• Matthew Gullickson along with Dr. Mary Rogers at the University of Minnesota was awarded $8,266 for the project, “Field Implementation of Botanical Repellents for Organic Management of Spotted-Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in Small Fruit.”

• Amanda Jo Talbot along with Dr. Harley Naumann at the University of Missouri was awarded $14,944 for the project, “The Establishment of Native Plant Species for Livestock Forage and Wildlife Habitat in Silvopasture Systems.”

• Andrej Svyantek along with Dr. Harlene Hatterman Valenti at North Dakota State University was awarded $14,951 for the project, “Development of Breeding Lines and Molecular Tools for Selection of Grapevines with Altered Canopy Dynamics via Dissected Foliar Morphology.”

• Alejandra Jimenez Madrid along with Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey at The Ohio State University was awarded $14,813 for the project, “Evaluation of Biological Control Agents as a Sustainable Disease Management Strategy for Fire Blight Control in Apples in Ohio.”

• Jasdeep Singh along with Dr. Sandeep Kumar was awarded $14,982 for the project, “Field Evaluation of Traffic-Induced Compaction and its Potential Impact on Soil Physical Characteristics and Crop Yield.”

• Tracy Campbell along with Dr. Chris Kucharik at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $14,444 for the project, “Improving Irrigation and Fertilizer Management Strategies Across the Wisconsin Central Sands Under a Changing Climate.”

• Kolby Grint along with Dr. Rodrigo Werle at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $15,000 for the project, “Assessment of Soil Management Strategies for Sustainable Crop Production, Weed Management, and Mitigation of Herbicide Carryover.”

• Laura Judge along with Dr. Mark Renz at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $14,978 for the project, “Evaluating and Mitigating Forage Losses Associated with a Rest Paddock for Ground-Nesting Birds in Pastures.”

• Laura Livingston along with Dr. Julie Dawson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $13,877 for the project, “Student-Based, Farmer-Advised Sustainable Food Systems Curriculum: A Collaborative Approach for Developing and Assessing Agricultural Education in Elementary Schools.”

• Miranda Sikora along with Dr. Matt Ruark at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $14,963 for the project, “Impact of Management Practices on Soil Health in Organic Grain Systems.”

For the 2019 Professional Development Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $955,000 to 12 projects ranging from $13,794 to $90,000. NCR-SARE Professional Development Program competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, non-profit organizations, and other public and private sector organizations. The following awarded projects are in order by state and then by last name:

• Renee Dewell with Iowa State University was awarded $90,000 for the project, “Supporting Sustainable Small-Scale Animal Agriculture through Development of Biological Risk Management Educational Materials.”

• Ajay Nair with Iowa State University was awarded $79,159 for the project, “Training Extension Professionals, High School Educators, and Local Food Coordinators on Basic and Advanced Aspects of Sustainable Vegetable Production.”

• Sally Worley with Practical Farmers of Iowa was awarded $89,789 for the project, “Expanding and Diversifying Farmer-Educator Capacity through Ambassador Academies.”

• Hans Schmitz with Purdue Extension was awarded $89,959 for the project, “Increasing Extension Expertise to Assist Agriculture Adaptation to a Changing Climate.”

• Cary Rivard with Kansas State University was awarded $89,443 for the project, “Capacity Building in Urban Food Systems in the North Central Region.”

• Erica Rogers with Michigan State University was awarded $68,058 for the project, “Training Agricultural Professionals on Innovative Online Tools for Conservation Planning and Implementation.” Rogers’ project has been named as the 2019 Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year.

• Theresa Keaveny with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota was awarded $89,530 for the project, “Professional Development Program for Silvopasture Adoption.”

• Christie Welch with The Ohio State University Extension was awarded $81,316 for the project, “Professional Development for Ohio Farmers Market Managers and OSU Extension Educators on Creating a Culture of Data Collection for Sustainability Planning for Markets and Farmers.”

• Valerie Dantoin with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College was awarded $13,794 for the project, “Organic Ag. Academy.”

• Jill Hapner with GrassWorks, Inc. in West Bend, Wisconsin was awarded $87,977 for the project, “Modernizing Grazing Resources for the Next Generation of Agriculture and Natural Resource Professionals.”

• Lauren Langworthy with the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service in Spring Valley, Wisconsin was awarded $86,678 for the project, “Training on the Ground Support for Transitioning and Organic Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

• Erin Silva with the University of Wisconsin-Madison was awarded $89,576 for the project, “OGRAIN Virtual Field Day Toolbox for Agriculture Service Providers.”

Erica Rogers’ Professional Development Program project has been named as the 2019 Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year. From 1991-1997 Dr. Ford served as the Program Coordinator for the Southern Region SARE program. She was the NCR-SARE Professional Development Program Coordinator at Kansas State University for 11 years (1999-2009), and supported sustainable agriculture and SARE for more than 20 years. To honor Dr. Ford’s contributions to NCR-SARE, the Administrative Council created the “Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year” award. Each year, one Professional Development Program funded project in the North Central region is given this special designation. The region selects the project that best exemplifies Dr. Ford’s contributions and passion for evaluation, professional development and/or science-based research.

View NCR-SARE’s 2019 funded projects along with their descriptions—including the Farmer Rancher, Youth Educator, and Partnership grants that were awarded earlier this year—online at www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Recent-Grant-Projects.

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. A collection of farm and non-farm citizens, the AC 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 nonprofit organizations.

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