NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects selected for the 2021 Graduate Student Grant Program. 24 projects were awarded a total of more than $347,000 through this NCR-SARE grant program. The 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 the last name:
- Lauren Asprooth along with Dr. Ryan Galt at the University of California, Davis in Davis, CA was awarded $14,850 for the project, “Identifying Determinants and Opportunities for Expansion of Organic Small Grain Acreage in Wisconsin.” For the Graduate Student Grant Program, proposals from U.S. states and island protectorates are accepted, but the proposal must convince reviewers that project results will primarily benefit agriculture in the North Central region.
- Sharon Badilla along with Dr. Mark Gleason at Iowa State University in Ames, IA was awarded $14,962 for the project, “Managing Teff as a Living Mulch for Organic Acorn Squash in Mesotunnel Systems.”
- Luis Bentancor along with Dr. Bradley Miller at Iowa State University in Ames, IA was awarded $14,964 for the project, “Soil Health Indicators in Areas Affected by Pipeline Installation.”
- Anne Carey along with Dr. Ajay Nair at Iowa State University in Ames, IA was awarded $14,926 for the project, “Evaluating the Soil Block Technique for Organic Vegetable Transplant Production.”
- Chris Morris along with Dr. J. Arbuckle at Iowa State University in Ames, IA was awarded $13,618 for the project, “The Effects of Collective Trauma on Iowa Farmers.”
- Emily Bernhard along with Dr. Victoria Borowicz at Illinois State University in Normal, IL was awarded $14,982 for the project, “Effects of Depth and Cover Crop Treatment on the Functioning and Diversity of Soil Microbial Communities.”
- Amina Naliaka along with Dr. Ruopu Li at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL was awarded $14,820 for the project, “A Socio-hydrological Framework for Assessing Groundwater Sustainability in an Irrigated Agricultural Landscape.”
- John Strauser along with Dr. William Stewart at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL was awarded $11,827 for the project, “Overcoming Barriers to Grass-Based Agriculture in the Driftless Region.”
- Jennifer Rackliffe along with Dr. Jiqin Ni at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN was awarded $14,978 for the project, “Optimization of Agricultural Anaerobic Co-digestion with Diverse Feedstocks.”
- Carlos Bonini Pires along with Dr. Chuck Rice at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS was awarded $14,832 for the project, “Using On-Farm Soil Health to Engage Research and Education Towards Sustainable Agriculture.”
- Lily Woitaszewski along with Dr. Sarah Lancaster at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS was awarded $14,839 for the project, “Weed Suppression by Grazed Winter Cover Crops with Varied Timing of Livestock Removal.”
- Noelle Connors along with Dr. Daniel Brainard at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $14,984 for the project, “Addressing the Weed and Soil Management Trade-offs in Vegetables Through Integrated Cultural and Mechanical Strategies.”
- Peter Fowler along with Dr. Meghan Milbrath at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $14,850 for the project, “Characterization of Melissococcus plutonius Strains in Michigan Honey Bees.”
- Christopher Galbraith along with Dr. Sushila Chaudhari at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $15,000 for the project, “Effect of Electrical Weed Control on Soil Health and Carrot Crop.”
- Andrea Kohler along with Dr. Courtney Hollender at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $14,883 for the project, “Improving Sustainability of North Central Region Peach Production through Novel Training Systems and Optimization of Branch Angle.”
- Lucas Krusinski along with Dr. Jenifer Fenton at Michigan State University in Okemos, MI was awarded $15,000 for the project, “Enhancing the Polyphenolic Content and Demand of Upper Midwestern, Locally Produced Beef.”
- Corinn Rutkoski along with Dr. Sarah Evans at Michigan State University W.K. Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners, MI was awarded $12,234 for the project, “Conserving Pollinators on Farms with Prairie Strips.”
- Aaron Staples along with Dr. Trey Malone at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $14,431 for the project, “Consumer Demand for Cannabis-infused Beverages and its Impact on the Economic Sustainability of Local Farms and Craft Beverage Producers.”
- Andria Caruthers along with Dr. Sarah Lovell at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry in Columbia, MO was awarded $14,882 for the project, “Exploratory Study for Silvopasture Adoption among Hispanic Beef Producers in Missouri.”
- Sakshi Paudel along with Dr. Samiran Banerjee at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND was awarded $14,883 for the project, “The Impact of Agricultural Practices on Microbial Spatiotempora Dynamics and Contributions to Soil Health.”
- Maritza Pierre along with Dr. Shoshanah Inwood and Dr. Douglas Jackson-Smith at The Ohio State University in Wooster, OH was awarded $14,968 for the project, “Black Farmers and Climate Adaptation.”
- Emily Runnion along with Dr. Frances Sivakoff at The Ohio State University in Marion, OH was awarded $14,993 for the project, “Exploring the Synergistic Potential of Fungicides and Parasites as Stressors of Bumble Bee Health and Pollination Services in GreenhouseTomatoes.”
- Abigail Augarten along with Dr. Matthew Ruark at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI was awarded $14,905 for the project, “Evaluating the Relationships Between Pasture Management, Soil Health and Ecosystem Services Through On-farm Monitoring.”
- Mitchell Lannan along with Dr. Christelle Guédot at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI was awarded $12,080 for the project, “Assessing Attract-and-kill as a New Management Strategy for Japanese Beetle in Wisconsin Vineyards.”
View NCR-SARE’s recently funded projects along with their descriptions—including the Farmer Rancher, Youth Educator, and Partnership grants that were awarded earlier this year—online at https://northcentral.sare.org/grants/apply-for-a-grant/ (scroll to the bottom of the page).
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.
Questions about the Graduate Student Grant Program can be directed to Beth Nelson.
Ph.D. Regional Coordinator and Director of Research and Education Programs