NCR-SARE Announces 2020 Youth Educator Grants

May 27, 2020

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for the Youth Educator competitive grant program. For the 2020 Youth Educator Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $45,000 to 12 projects. The competitive Youth Educator Grant Program supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. Those selected to receive funding included (in order alphabetically, by state):

  • Mark Quee with Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, IA was awarded $4,000 for the project “Establishing an Uncommon Orchard with Native Plant Understory.”
  • Mark Becker with University of Illinois 4H Extension in Champaign, IL was awarded $4,000 for the project “FarmBot Project.”
  • Dan Kenney with DeKalb County Community Gardens in DeKalb, IL was awarded $2,160 for the project “DeKalb County Community Gardens Sustainable Agriculture Summer Camp.”
  • Steve McNair with Salem4youth in Flanagan, IL was awarded $3,952 for the project “Queens: One Key to Honeybee Sustainability.”
  • Alexandria Pettigrew with Purdue Extension in Indianapolis, IN was awarded $3,828 for the project “Creating Youth Leaders Using Sustainable Urban Agricultural Practices.”
  • Jennifer Bauer with Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) in Overland Park, KS was awarded $4,000 for the project “Going Hog Wild: A Sustainable Agriculture Project Raising Pastured Pigs.”
  • Lance Kraai with New City Neighbors in Grand Rapids, MI was awarded $3,981 for the project “Educating Youth in Sustainable Farming and Value Added Production.”
  • Jennifer Hahn with the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition in Luverne, MN was awarded $4,000 for the project “Youth Soil Health Investigators.”
  • Juan Cabrera-Garcia with the University of Missouri Extension in Poplar Bluff, MO was awarded $4,000 for the project “Sustainable Hydroponic Farming as a Viable Career Path for the Youth in Butler County Missouri.”
  • Susan Hernandez with the Saint Louis Science Center Foundation in Saint Louis, MO was awarded $4,000 for the project “Pathways to Produce: Learning to Maximize Aquaponics Systems for Local Food Production.”
  • Gus von Roenn with Omaha Permaculture in Omaha, NE was awarded $4,000 for the project “Community Fruit Tree and Medicinal Herb Nurseries Project.”
  • Julie Garreau with the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, SD was awarded $4,000 for the project “Cheyenne River Youth Project: Traditional Lakota Herbs, Fruits, and Roots Garden.”

Read descriptions of these projects online at

The focus for each of the NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, the project's relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE's goals, among other factors specific to each grant program.

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. 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 nonprofits.

Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.

Related Locations: North Central