North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) has distributed over $9 million to fund 313 grant projects in Michigan since 1988. Just in 2023, $1,318,142 in new funding will support 17 Michigan research and education projects. Follow the links below to learn more about the grants.
Farmer Rancher Grants
Four 2023 Farmer Rancher Grants have been awarded to improve yields and processing for staple crops at the homestead scale (Eleanor Hucker, Great Lakes Staple Seeds), improve water catchment and conservation for Detroit urban farmers (jøn kent, Sanctuary Farms), urban mushroom production (Tristen Sdchultz, McLaughlin Grows Urban Farm) and BCS management of no-till cover crops (Phillip Swartz, beyondsustainable.farm). Farmer Rancher Grants fund a diversity of much-needed farmer-led research projects.
Research and Education Grants
Three Michigan State University (MSU) researchers were awarded 2023 Research and Education Grants to study bovine leukemia virus (Tasia Kendrick), a non-chemical apple thinning method (Todd Einhorn), and pollinator strips for urban farms (Zsofia Szendrei).
Two 2023 Partnership Grants are funding work with the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative (James DeDecker, MSU) and butterfly conservation training for farmers (Meghan Milbrath, MSU). Partnership grants encourage collaboration between Extension, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), state and non-profit agriculture professionals, and groups of farmers to work together on projects to move improve and promote sustainable farming.
Youth Educator Grants
Three 2023 Youth Educator Grants are funding learning opportunities for urban youth at New City Neighbors farm in Grand Rapids, WJP Farms in Detroit, and an after-school Farm Club for Detroit Public School students at the district’s Drew Farm. Youth educator grants help to inform and engage youth with gardening, farming, and agriculture career opportunities.
Professional Development Grants
Three 2023 Professional Development Grants will be funding Soil Health Nexus trainings on livestock management for soil health (Michigan State University Extension), a food-grade grain production curriculum (Michigan Agriculture Advancement) and training agriculture educators to better understand and assist urban farmers (MSU Extension).
Graduate Student Grants
Two successful 2023 Graduate Student Grants will fund research on using low-cost NIR reflectometers to predict nitrogen levels (Sieglinde Snapp with student Rabin KC, MSU) and managing asparagus residue to reduce asparagus beetle damage (Zsofia Szendrei with student Laura Marmolejo).
Michigan SARE has funded several events through SARE mini-grants, including Underground Innovations, the Perennial Farm Ecosystem Workshop and the Organic Grains Conference.
SARE is a USDA program that shares numerous resources for farmers and agriculture educators including books, bulletins, videos and more. For more information about SARE grants and resources, visit the Michigan SARE or National SARE websites. The program aims to support an inclusive mix of farmers and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program or political beliefs.
Michigan SARE Coordinator Sarah Fronczak, Tribal SARE Coordinator Emily Proctor, and Katie Brandt from the MSU Organic Farmer Training Program are glad to advise applicants, review proposals, and support farmers, educators, and students applying for NCR-SARE grants. Grant-writing support is available free of charge for all six North Central SARE grants and for Michigan SARE mini-grants. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with questions, to have a proposal reviewed or to set up a time to discuss your proposal idea. Tribal members and communities are encouraged to reach out to Emily Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with SARE proposals.
This article was originally written by the Michigan Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
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