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NCR-SARE Program Brochure
A brochure containing general information about NCR-SARE
Partnership Grant Fact Sheet
The 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.
The integration of agriculture into urban settings is not a new concept, but it is gaining support among all over the country. Throughout the North Central region, residents and organizations in urban settings are stepping up to integrate sustainable food systems into their immediate environment while teaching youth and communities the value of sustainable growing methods. NCR-SARE has shown support for innovative projects that work to combine the benefits of urban living with the concepts of sustainable agriculture.
Crop rotation is the ancient practice of growing a wide variety of crops in a sequential system throughout a field in order to avoid a buildup of disease and pests. Strategic crop rotations can help producers promote good soil health by alternating crops with different nutrient needs and benefit overall soil structure by breaking up subsoil by alternating deep and shallow rooting plants. NCR-SARE supports research and education projects that study the applications of crop rotation-including improving soil quality and health, and managing pests, diseases, and weeds.
Honeybee losses compounded with rising rental rates for pollination are a concern for many producers. Not only are growers looking for alternative pollinators to improve crop security, but they also want to learn how to manage on-farm habitats for native bees and other pollinators. NCR-SARE has supported researchers, educators, and producers who are researching, rearing, and managing species that provide pollination alternatives to the declining honey bee.
Environmental Stewardship and Conservation
Environmental stewardship and conservation are necessary in sustaining the future of any farm or agricultural business. Whether it be conservation training for agronomy professionals or recultivation of native grasses into rotational grazing, SARE has supported recent advances by producers, researchers, and professionals to make environmental stewardship and conservation a high priority in the agriculture industry.
Healthy soil is essential for maintaining efficient growth, fertility, and water quality in crop production. SARE has supported advances by producers, researchers, and educators as they examine the on-farm benefits of using cover crops, crop rotation, manure amendments, composting, and more.
A growing group of people are interested in getting more local foods into the hands of consumers—and providing additional marketing channels for farmers to produce sustainable, local foods. “Scaling up” local food refers to the process of building the system necessary to make local food available to a wider segment of the population than currently possible. NCR-SARE has supported research and education in some of the key challenge areas to scaling up local foods including agricultural production, storage and transportation, and marketing and sales.
Grazing and Pasture Management
Grazing management is critical to any pasture-based livestock farming system. Practices such as rotational grazing, intensive rotational grazing, and management intensive grazing can be critical to successful and sustainable grazing systems. NCR-SARE has supported research and educational opportunities around the topic of grazing and pasture management in order to help producers reduce costs and increase profits.
The sustainability of a dairy farm relates to many factors revolving around farm management, use of resources, and quality of life. NCR-SARE has supported research and education opportunities in a wide variety of dairy topics including organic dairying, value-added dairy options, pasture productivity, animal management, milk marketing, small ruminant dairies, and farm energy.
Wine and Grapes
From organic grape production to the integration of sheep grazing in vineyards, NCR-SARE-funded research is helping vintners and farmers across the region use sustainable practices to battle pests, tap into lucrative markets, and increase yields. NCR-SARE grants have supported producers who grow grapes and produce wine in ways that boost profits, protect the land, and strengthen communities.
Youth Educator Grant Fact Sheet
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) recognizes that youth programs are a way to introduce new and exciting farming and ranching options to youth, parents, and community members. Youth Educator grants support projects by youth educators that encourage youth to try sustainable practices and explore sustainable agriculture as a viable career option.
Graduate Student Grant Fact Sheet
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Graduate Student Grant Program supports projects by graduate students that address sustainable agriculture issues and are part of the student’s degree program. NCR-SARE instituted the Graduate Student Grant Program in 2002 for officially registered graduate students (Masters and Ph.D.) enrolled at accredited colleges or universities. Projects must benefit agriculture in the North Central Region.
Professional Development Grant Fact Sheet
The North Central Region SARE (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Grant Program supports state professional development programs and competitive grants for training agricultural professionals.
Business planning can help alternative and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs transform farm-grown inspiration into profitable enterprises. NCR-SARE funded research is helping farmers learn how to set goals, research processing alternatives, determine potential markets, and evaluate financing options. NCR-SARE has invested in more than 150 research and education business planning projects to help achieve the sustainability of operations and to optimize production, discover or develop markets, and enhance environmental benefits.
Integrated Pest Management
While every farming system is unique, the principles of integrated pest management (IPM) apply universally. NCR-SARE funds projects on ecologically-based pest management strategies that farmers throughout the region are using to address pest problems. This investment in pest management strategies helps develop more complex, diverse ecosystems in the region.
Agroforestry practices can help landowners diversify products and markets, boost farm income, improve soil and water quality, and reduce erosion, non-point source pollution, and flood damage. NCR-SARE values the integrated practices of agroforestry and has funded grants that have enhanced wildlife habitat and improved biodiversity while sustaining land resources for generations to come.
Since 1995, NCR-SARE has invested in alternative marketing strategies through competitive grants to help regional farmers and ranchers develop skills and supportive relationships with others that assist them in creating and sustaining profitable, sustainable ag marketing ventures, and to help make more direct connections between food buyers and food producers in the region.
A farm is to a beginning farmer what a blank canvas is to an aspiring artist, which makes it no wonder that beginning farmers and ranchers are some of agriculture’s greatest innovators and experimenters. In fact, studies have found that most innovation takes place within the first five years of a farmer’s operation. SARE has made fostering the next generation and its ingenuity a priority.
Politicians, farmers, and investors across the U.S. are enthusiastic about the potential economic benefits and use of energy crops to revitalize the rural landscape. NCR-SARE hopes to more clearly articulate the need to use a systems approach to identify critical questions, develop innovative solutions, and solve both on-site and off-site problems that might limit the sustainable development of bioenergy production. NCR-SARE has invested in research and education projects to help achieve the sustainability of all aspects of bioenergy and those communities that support bioenergy.