Producers hear results from on-farm SARE projects in North Dakota. (NDSU photo)

FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Extension) – The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program has announced the projects recommended for funding in North Dakota for the 2019-2020 grant cycle.

NCR-SARE awarded more than $718,000 to 55 grant projects for the Farmer Rancher grant program, including three in North Dakota. The program offers competitive grants for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstrations and educational projects.

Those selected in North Dakota were:

  • Derek Lowstuter of Folly Hill Farm, Bismarck, N.D., $8,980 for the project “Development of an Integrated Ventilation, Thermal Mass and Lighting System for the First Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) in North Dakota.”
  • Megan Mahoney of MaHoney Bees and Queens, Jamestown, N.D., $9,000 for the project “Honeybee Breeding Program Designed for the Commercial Beekeeping Industry to Provide Sustainable Breeding Stock Using Artificial Insemination.”
  • James Ryan of Balfour, N.D., $8,826 for the project “Organic No-till in Perennial Cover.”

Earlier in the grant cycle, grants were announced for the Graduate and Research and Education programs in North Dakota.

For the 2019 Graduate Student program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $278,000 to 20 projects ranging from $8,226 to $15,000. The program is a competitive grant program to fund graduate student projects that address sustainable agriculture issues. One North Dakota project received funding.

Andrej Svyantek, along with Harlene Hatterman Valenti, a professor and high-value crops specialist in North Dakota State University’s Plant Sciences Department, was awarded $14,951 for the project “Development of Breeding Lines and Molecular Tools for Selection of Grapevines With Altered Canopy Dynamics via Dissected Foliar Morphology.”

For the 2019 Research and Education Program, NCR-SARE awarded $3.12 million to 17 projects ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. The program is a competitive grant program for researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems.

Those selected for funding in North Dakota were:

  • Benjamin Geaumont, wildlife and range research assistant professor at NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center, $199,922 for the project “Examining the Role of Shelterbelts (Tree Plantings) on Early Season Honey Production and Hive Growth of Honeybees in the North Central Region (NCR).”
  • Burton Johnson, a professor in NDSU’s Plant Sciences Department, $199,998 for the project “Perennial Flax: A New Crop for Sustainable Agriculture in the Northern Plains.”
  • Miranda Meehan, NDSU Extension’s livestock environmental stewardship specialist, $198,168 for the project “Grazing Management Practices to Enhance Soil Health in the Northern Great Plains.”

Descriptions of these projects are available online at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Recent-Grant-Projects.

Since 1988, North Dakota has been awarded $5.4 million to support 120 projects, including 34 research and/or education projects, 11 professional development projects and 50 producer-led projects. North Dakota also has received SARE support through multistate projects.

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 is a collection of farm and nonfarm citizens and includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members are from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.

For more information about the SARE program in North Dakota, contact the state’s SARE state coordinators:

  • Karl Hoppe, NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center, 663 Highway 281 N.E., PO Box 219, Carrington, ND 58421, 701-652-2951, karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu
  • Bill Hodous, Ramsey County Courthouse, 524 4th Ave. N.E., #5, Devils Lake, ND 58301-2486, 701-662-7030, bill.hodous@ndsu.edu
  • Clair Keene, NDSU Williston Research Extension Center, 14120 Highway 2, Williston, N.D. 58801, 701-774-4315, clair.keene@ndsu.edu