NCR-SARE's 2023 Partnership Grants

July 20, 2023
With support from an NCR-SARE Partnership grant, South Dakota State University (SDSU) meat scientists teamed up with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, and meat industry professionals to guide producers in the upper Midwest through the requirements of establishing and operating small processing facilities.

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for the 2023 Partnership Grant Program.

For the 2023 Partnership Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded almost $1,000,000 to 21 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):

  • Cindy Goodner with Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, IA was awarded $45,238 for the project, “Rematriation Partnership: Orchard Establishment and Care.”
  • Julia McGuire in West Des Moines, IA was awarded $29,741 for the project, “Beekeeper Learning Circles.”
  • Juliann Salinas with Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) in Ames, IA was awarded $50,000 for the project, “Harvesting Our Potential: Mentoring New Sustainable Farmers.”
  • Randall Vos with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Knoxville, IA was awarded $48,166 for the project, “Adaptive Pruning of Cold-Hardy Commercial Wine Grape Cultivars.”
  • Amir Sadeghpour with Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, IL was awarded $49,350 for the project, “Increasing Rye Cover Crop Adoption Through Novel, Practical, and Farmer-Driven Management Practices.”
  • Therese Zimmerman with Good Shepherd Montessori School in South Bend, IN was awarded $38,192 for the project, “Food, Farming and Sustainability: A Whole Systems Approach for Farm-to-School Education for the Future of Food Security.”
  • Alicia Ellingsworth with The Farm School at Gibbs Road in Kansas City, KS was awarded $49,401 for the project, “Water Catchment to Sustain Food Production in the Midst of Climate Crisis.”
  • James DeDecker with Michigan State University AgBioResearch and Extension in Chatham, MI was awarded $49,391 for the project, “The Seed to Kitchen Collaborative: Identifying Improved Vegetable Varieties for Organic Direct-Market Growers.”
  • Meghan Milbrath with Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $48,416 for the project, “Income Through Conservation: Training Farmers to Produce Plant Materials for Specialist Butterflies.”
  • Rachel Armstrong with Farm Commons in Duluth, MN was awarded $45,757 for the project, “Circles of Resilience, by and for Farmers.”
  • Melissa Carlson with the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council in Red Lake Falls, MN was awarded $49,846 for the project, “On-Farm Testing of Johnson-Su Compost Extract as a Biological Inoculant in Wheat and Soybeans.”
  • Mark Gutierrez with the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition in Moose Lake, MN was awarded $48,002 for the project, “Feasibility of Organic Strip-till with Cover Crops.”
  • Mohan Acharya with Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO was awarded $49,896 for the project, “Fencing in Silvopasture for Sheep and Goat Production Across Missouri.”
  • Katie Houck with Urban Harvest STL in St. Louis, MO was awarded $48,690 for the project, “Seeds of Change: Building Capacity among New Urban Growers with Educational Seed Grants.”
  • Jessica D’Ambrosio with the Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice in Yellow Springs, OH was awarded $50,000 for the project, “Regenerative Farming Policy Fellowship Program.”
  • Phillip Alberti with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI was awarded $49,339 for the project, “The Cultivar Check Program: Utilizing the Midwestern Hemp Database (MHD) and Grower-Cooperators to Assess Variety Performance of High Cannabinoid Hemp.”
  • Sarah Janes Ugoretz with FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, WI was awarded $49,970 for the project, “Keeping Vegetable Farmers Growing Through One-on-One Professional Peer Coaching.”
  • Anne Pfeiffer with the University of Wisconsin - Madison Extension in Madison, WI was awarded $49,707 for the project, “Weeding Workshops: Building weed Management Skills and Networks with Diverse Farmers.”
  • John Strauser with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI was awarded $47,733 for the project, “Agricultural Transformations in the Red Cedar Learning Hub.”
  • James Stute with Stute Farms in East Troy, WI was awarded $49,892 for the project, “Finding the Sweet Spot: Rye Termination Timing to Balance Weed Suppression and Yield Reduction in Green Planted No-Till Soybean.”
  • Nicole Tautges with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, WI was awarded $49,054 for the project, “Nitrogen Credits and Fertilizer Dollars Saved: Identifying Benefits for Seeding Diverse Legume-Based Cover Mixes into or After Winter Small Grains.”

Read descriptions of these projects online on the SARE projects reporting website.

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, ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofits.

Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are economically viable, 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