NCR-SARE Announces 2020 Research and Education, Graduate Student, and Professional Development Awards

September 29, 2020

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects selected for the 2020 Research and Education, Graduate Student, and Professional Development competitive grant programs. Forty-six (46) projects were awarded a total of more than $4.1 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 2020 Research and Education program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $2.9 million to 13 projects ranging from $144,096 to $249,999. 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: 

  • Shalamar Armstrong at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $249,871 grant for the project, “Precision Winter Cereal Rye Cover Cropping for Improving Farm Profitability and Environmental Stewardship.”
  • Laura Ingwell at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $249,919 grant for the project, “Improving Two Spotted Spider Mite Management in High Tunnel Cucumber Production.”
  • Darcy Telenko at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $249,984 grant for the project, “Identifying and Expanding Integrated Disease Management Resources to include Organic Grains in Support of Organic and Transitional North Central Farms.”
  • Landon Yoder at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN has been selected to receive a $236,702 grant for the project, “Participatory Farmer Monitoring on Nitrate Loss: Using Farm-Scale Data to Improve Nutrient Management and Water Quality.”
  • Jessica Rupp at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS has been selected to receive a $167,433 grant for the project, “Improving Disease Resistance in the Perennial Grain Kernza to Protect the Value of the Grain and the Environment.”
  • Jennifer Hodbod at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI has been selected to receive a $249,999 grant for the project, “Values and Adoption in Regenerative Grazing Practices and Associated Wellbeing Outcomes for Cow-calf Producers.”
  • Matthew Grieshop at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI has been selected to receive a $208,507grant for the project, “Development and Delivery of Post-harvest Spotted Wing Drosophila Cultural Control Tactics for NCR Tart Cherry Growers.”
  • Jennifer Silveri at Michigan Integrated Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) in East Lansing, MI has been selected to receive a $199,997 grant for the project, “Strategies for Adaptive Resilience in Sustainable Agriculture for Beginning and Historically Underserved Farmers.”
  • Ashley Conway at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO has been selected to receive a $249,731 grant for the project, “Investigating the Potential of Woodland Silvopasture Systems: Prevalence, Practices, Perceptions and Performance.”
  • Eleazar Gonzalez at Lincoln University Cooperative Extension in Jefferson City, MO has been selected to receive a $245,505 grant for the project, “Entrepreneurial Sustainable Agriculture for Latinx and Limited-resource Producers in Missouri.”
  • Margaret Kalcic at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH has been selected to receive a $249,932 grant for the project, “Soil Health and Water Quality Nexus in Sustainable Agroecosystems.”
  • Christelle Guédot at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Madison, WI has been selected to receive a $144,096 grant for the project, “Trap Cropping to Improve Tarnished Plant Bug Management in North Central Strawberry.”
  • Heidi Peterson at the Sand County Foundation in Madison, WI has been selected to receive a $249,205 grant for the project, “Onto Greener Pastures with Rotational Grazing and Cover Crops.” 

For the 2020 Graduate Student program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $306,000 to 22 projects ranging from $10,000 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:

  • Marissa Chase along with Dr. Jennifer Fraterrigo at the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL has been selected to receive a $14,799 grant for the project, “Improving Apple and Peach Pollination by Advancing Knowledge of how Forest Management Affects Wild Bee Functional Diversity.”
  • Madison Decker along with Dr. Karla Gage at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL has been selected to receive a $15,000 grant for the project, “Refining Interseeding Winter Wheat Practices as a Sustainable Approach for Suppressing Common Waterhemp in Soybean.”
  • Meagan Abraham along with Dr. Darrin Karcher at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $14,962 grant for the project, “Establishing Pullet Welfare Measurements and Guidelines for Growers and Managers on Commercial Poultry Farms.”
  • Emily Justus along with Dr. Elizabeth Long at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $13,588 grant for the project, “Assessing Growers’ Knowledge of and Interest in Implementing Insect Resistant Varieties as a Part of an Integrated Pest Management Plan.”
  • Caydee Terrell along with Dr. Laura Ingwell at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $14,832 grant for the project, “Examining the Utility of Black Soldier Fly Larvae Composting on Urban Farms.”
  • Danielle Winter along with Dr. Sara McMillan at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $14,838 grant for the project, “Design and Management of On-Farm Wetlands for Water Quality and Climate Regulation.”
  • Megan McManus along with Dr. Cary Rivard at Kansas State University in Lawrence, KS has been selected to receive a $10,000 grant for the project, “Defining Business Education for Small Scale Specialty Crop Farmers.”
  • Tayler Ulbrich along with Dr. Sarah Evans at Michigan State University in Hickory Corners, MI has been selected to receive a $12,710 grant for the project, “Exploring how Farmers’ Perceptions of Soil Health Affect their Management Decisions.”
  • Jonathan Alexander along with Dr. John Baker at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul, MN has been selected to receive a $15,000 grant for the project, “Removing Barriers of Adoption to Kura Clover Living Mulch Systems.”
  • Rebecca Fudge along with Dr. Julie Grossman at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul, MN has been selected to receive a $14,589 grant for the project, “Maximizing Nitrogen Fixation in Cold-Hardy Hairy Vetch.”
  • Marie Schaedel along with Dr. Julie Grossman at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul, MN has been selected to receive a $14,993 grant for the project, “Smart Farming with Microbes: Managing Summer Cover Crops to Cultivate Beneficial Soil Communities.”
  • Chrisee Wheeler along with Dr. Harley Naumann at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO has been selected to receive a $14,973 grant for the project, “Managing Sericea lespedeza Infestation in Native Warm Season Grass Pastures Utilizing Goats.”
  • Kallie Calus along with Dr. Mary Drewnoski at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, NE has been selected to receive a $14,389 grant for the project, “Winter Hardy Small Cereal Cover Crops for Grazing and Silage in Nebraska.”
  • Katharine Hogan along with Dr. Craig Allen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, NE has been selected to receive a $15,000 grant for the project, “Increasing the Effectiveness of Pollinator Conservation Grasslands within the Tallgrass Prairie Region.”
  • Kyle Martens along with Dr. Mark Burbach at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Lincoln, NE has been selected to receive a $7,926 grant for the project, “Rancher Preferences for Conservation Program in Nebraska’s Grasslands.”
  • Hanna Karevold along with Dr. Erin Gillam at North Dakota State University in Cavalier, ND has been selected to receive a $14,850 grant for the project, “Economic Impacts of Bats in Dakota Agroecosystems: Do Insect-Eating Bats Reduce Pesticide Needs and Contribute to Plant Pollination?”
  • Fiona Doherty along with Dr. Michelle Kaiser at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH has been selected to receive a $14,797 grant for the project, “”How are you really doing?”: Social Sustainability of Beginning Farmers.”
  • Tvisha Martin along with Dr. Christine Sprunger at The Ohio State University in Wooster, OH has been selected to receive a $10,875 grant for the project, “The Use of Nematodes and Enzyme Activities For On-Farm Soil Biological Health Tests.”
  • Marina Miquilini along with Dr. Marilia Chiavegato at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH has been selected to receive a $13,488 grant for the project, “Effect of Recurring Flooding on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Soil C and N Contents and Forage Quality in Grazing and Hay Fields.”
  • Shaina Westhoff along with Dr. David Clay at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD has been selected to receive a $14,976 grant for the project, “Measuring the Impacts of Returning to Tillage on Soil Health Parameters after Long-term No-Till Soil Management: An Educational Opportunity.”
  • Rebecca Honeyball along with Dr. Amaya Atucha at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI has been selected to receive a $14,879 grant for the project, “Effects of Ericoid Mycorrhizal Fungi on Performance of V. Macrocarpon and V. Oxycoccos under Abiotic Stresses Related to Climate Change.”
  • Sarah Janes Ugoretz along with Dr. Michael Bell at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Fitchburg, WI has been selected to receive a $14,873 grant for the project, “Peer-to-Peer Labor Management Training for Diversified Organic Vegetable Producers.”

For the 2020 Professional Development Program, NCR-SARE awarded almost $900,000 to 11 projects ranging from $19,288 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:

  • Mallory Krieger at the Organic Trade Association in Washington, DC has been selected to receive an $89,731grant for the project, “Innovating Education of Agricultural Professionals on Organic Field Crop Production with a Flipped Classroom Approach.” 
  • Eileen Kladviko at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN has been selected to receive a $90,000 grant for the project, “Enhancing Cover Crop Training in the North Central Region.” 
  • Christina Curell at Michigan State University Extension in Baldwin, MI has been selected to receive a $90,000grant for the project, “Soil Health Nexus: Strengthening Soil Health Programs for Educators and Farmers/Ranchers in the North Central Region.” 
  • Adam Reimer at the National Wildlife Federation in Delton, MI has been selected to receive an $86,391 grant for the project, “Improved Sustainable Agriculture Outreach Through Behavior-Change Focused Outreach Toolkit.” 
  • Betsy Wieland at the University of Minnesota Extension in Saint Paul, MN has been selected to receive a $90,000 grant for the project, “Building a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Network in Minnesota.” Weiland’s project has been named as the 2020 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.
  • Abbey Wick at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND has been selected to receive an $89,817 grant for the project, “Training for Effective Delivery of Science-Based Soil Health Information – It’s About More than Just Content, It’s About Messaging Skills.” 
  • Kent (Kip) Curtis at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH has been selected to receive a $89,976 grant for the project, “Growing the Growers: Leadership Training and the Development of Key Personnel for Engaged Production in the Mansfield Microfarm Project.” 
  • Thea Carlson at the Biodynamic Association in East Troy, WI has been selected to receive a $19,288 grant for the project, “Intensivo Biodinamico: Piloting Spanish Language Training in Biodynamics.” 
  • Richard Monette at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI has been selected to receive a $90,000 grant for the project, “Teaching Seasonally-Based and Culturally-Centered Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum to Tribal Educators.”
  • Keefe Keeley at the Savanna Institute in Madison, WI has been selected to receive a $79,620 grant for the project, “Online Agroforestry Course for Professionals.”  
  • Angela Sullivan at the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship in Madison, WI has been selected to receive an $84,750 grant for the project, “Enhancing the Sustainability of Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Through Educator and Farmer Mentor Professional Development.”  

You can view all of NCR-SARE’s 2020 funded projects along with their descriptions—including the Farmer Rancher, Youth Educator, and Partnership grants that were awarded earlier this year.

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.