NCR-SARE's 2023 Youth Educator Grants

November 7, 2023
KC Farm School at Gibbs Road is a nonprofit organization located on a 3-acre urban farm in Wyandotte County of Kansas City, Kansas. They share sustainable agriculture education and food sovereignty practices with local youth aged 4-18.

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program is pleased to announce the 2024 Youth Educator Grant Call for Proposals is now available. Proposals are due on November 9, 2023 by 4pm Central Time.

NCR-SARE awarded more than $85,000 to 15 projects for the 2023 Youth Educator Grant Program.

The competitive Youth Educator Grant Program supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. Those selected to receive funding in 2023 included (in order alphabetically, by state):

  • Ariel Beauchamp of Kendall County Soil and Water Conservation District in Yorkville, IL was awarded $4,222 for the project, “Kendall Agricultural Careers Field Trip Series.”
  • Gavrielle Welbel of Zumwalt Acres in Sheldon, IL was awarded $6,000 for the project, “The Zumwalt Acres Apprenticeship Program: An Accessible Farming Experience for Educating and Empowering Emerging Growers.”
  • Sarah Easdon of Grace Heritage Dairy in Fontana, KS was awarded $6,000 for the project, “You Don’t Have to Be Big to Be Profitable: Teaching Youth How to Meet Community Needs, Maintain a Farm System, and Treasure Family.”
  • Lance Kraai of New City Neighbors in Grand Rapids, MI was awarded $5,984 for the project, “That Farmer Looks Like Me: Encouraging Urban Youth to Engage in Farming.”
  • Willie Patmon of WJP Farms in Detroit, MI was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Teaching Young People About Caring for the Land, Community and Themselves through Sustainable Farming and Gardening Practices.”
  • Laura Sajdak of Detroit Public Schools Office of School Nutrition Farm & Garden Program in Detroit, MI was awarded $6,000 for the project, “After School Farm Club at DPSCD's Drew Farm.”
  • Lynn Kotrba of Harvest Hope Farm in Moorhead, MN was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Harvest Hope Farm - Farm Camp on Wheels 2023.”
  • Holly Dainton of Edgewood High School in Trenton, OH was awarded $3,342 for the project, “Hydroponics-Based Sustainable Agriculture Vocational Training Opportunity for Students with Multiple Disabilities.”
  • Corinne Fields of Gahanna Jefferson School in Gahanna, OH was awarded $5,945 for the project, “G.E.A.R. (Gahanna Employability Adult Readiness) Gardens Project.”
  • Amy Hurst of Learning 4 Life Farm in Johnstown, OH was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Learning 4 Life Farm Alpacas for Autism.”
  • Rebecca Rak of Lodi Family Center in Lodi, OH was awarded $5,668 for the project, “Kids Gardening Club Year Round Farm2Table Exploration.”
  • Eric Tanner of Marlington Local School District in Alliance, OH was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Eric Tanner Hydroponics.”
  • Sharon Oney of Youth & Family Services in Rapid City, SD was awarded $6,000 for the project, “YFS Sowing Opportunities for Youth Leadership (SOYL).”
  • Amelia Hayden of Osseo-Fairchild School District in Osseo, WI was awarded $5,995 for the project, “Fueling Future Minds.”
  • Alessandra Rolffs of Gathering Ground in Washington Island, WI was awarded $5,980 for the project, “Ground School: Educating Young Adults About What's Possible In Sustainable Ag. Careers.”

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, 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