NCR-SARE's 2021 Partnership Grants

April 19, 2021
Dr. Hongmei LiByarlay (right) received a 2019 NCR-SARE Partnership grant to study honeybee genetics and behavior with students at Central State University.

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for the 2021 Partnership Grant Program.

For the 2021 Partnership Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $638,000 to 16 projects. NCR-SARE’s Partnership Grant Program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. Those selected to receive funding included (in order alphabetically, by state):

  • Phillip Alberti with the University of Illinois in Freeport, Illinois was awarded $39,834 for the project, “Midwestern Hemp Database: Utilizing Grower-Cooperator Networks to Assess Variety Performance of Industrial Hemp Across the North Central Region.”
  • Therese Zimmerman with Good Shepherd Montessori School in South Bend, Indiana was awarded $39,999 for the project, “Farm Education for Core Curriculum: Teachers and Farmers Partnering for the Future of Food Security.”
  • Philip Kauth with Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa was awarded $40,000 for the project, “Seed Rematriation Using a Participatory Conservation Model.”
  • Juliann Salinas with the Women, Food and Agriculture Network in Ames, Iowa was awarded $40,000 for the project, “Harvesting Our Potential: Growing Skills, Confidence and Sustainability.”
  • Alicia Ellingsworth with The Farm School at Gibbs Road in Kansas City, Kansas was awarded $39,260 for the project, “The Future of Food Aggregation and Distribution in the Kansas City Region: Considering Infrastructure and Logistics Over the Next Ten Years.”
  • Katie Brandt with Michigan State University in Haslett, Michigan was awarded $39,999 for the project, “Michigan Sustainable Farm Mentors.”
  • Robin Trott with the University of Minnesota in Alexandria, Minnesota was awarded $40,000 for the project, “Grower to Grower: Sustainable Local Foods Marketing Panel and Resource Toolkit.”
  • Cody Creech with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Scottsbluff, Nebraska was awarded $40,000 for the project, “Developing Winter Barley as an Alternative Crop to Capture an Emerging Market and Increase Diversification and Sustainability.”
  • Amy Gerdes with Community Crops in Lincoln, Nebraska was awarded $39,706 for the project, “Weed Suppression Strategies for Key Cultural Crops in the Yazidi Farming Community of the Midwest.”
  • Amanda Douridas with The Ohio State University in Urbana, Ohio was awarded $39,993 for the project, “Soil Moisture and Temperature Monitoring in Different Field Management Conditions.”
  • Jesse Womack with The Nature Conservancy in Dublin, Ohio was awarded $40,000 for the project, “New and Beginning Farmer Regenerative Agriculture Fellowship Program.”
  • Amanda Blair with South Dakota State University in Rapid City, South Dakota was awarded $39,862 for the project, “Enhancing Producer Resources to Build Small Meat Processing Capacity and Local Meat Demand.”
  • Ryan Schmid with the Ecdysis Foundation in Estelline, South Dakota was awarded $39,996 for the project, “Developing a Guide for Farmers or Local Machine Shops to Build an Affordable Roller-Crimper by Repurposing Tillage Equipment.”
  • Luiz Ferraretto with the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay, Wisconsin was awarded $40,000 for the project, “Harvesting and Feeding Winter Rye, Winter Triticale, and other Alternative Forages to Dairy and Beef Cattle.”
  • Alyssa Hartman with the Artisan Grain Collaborative in Dane County, Wisconsin was awarded $39,997 to work with the Michael Field Institute and producers in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin on the project, “Developing Educational Resources for Improved Postharvest Handling of Value-Added Wheat and Rye on Small and Mid-Sized Farms.”
  • James Stute with Stute Farms in East Troy, Wisconsin was awarded $39,680 for the project, “Can "Planting Green" Suppress Troublesome Glyphosate Tolerant/ Resistant Weeds in No-Till Soybean?”

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