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SARE grants awarded in Wisconsin this spring

Click HERE for NCR-SARE website

Our UW-Extension SARE Coordinators have written (below) about the SARE grants recently awarded to six farmers and one nonprofit in Wisconsin.  Andrew and Diane are valuable resources to work with should you consider applying for such funding yourself.  

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) has awarded grants to seven Wisconsin farmers in 2014-2015 for research or education in sustainable agriculture. 

Christine Kocourek of Floppy Ear Farm, LLC in Reedsville, Wisconsin received a $1,370 grant for the project “Constructing a Goat Proof Natural Hedge Fence.” Hedges have been used for centuries in England to contain livestock. This project will construct a natural goat-proof hedge that will act as a barrier fence, as well as eventually provide a windbreak and create a natural separation from the surrounding non-organic farmers’ land.

Roy Landskron of Bluegill Heaven in Shiocton, Wisconsin was awarded a $13,746 grant for the project “Increase Sustainability on Fish Farms with the Development of Value Added Products from Fish and Fish Waste.” This project will use both fish and fish waste to develop a fish based hydrolysate, which will be used for direct marketing or as the basis for developing a fat/protein/lipid supplement for fish feeds.

Elise Hallock of Amuse Bouche at Cider Hill Farm in Neenah, Wisconsin received a $7,154 grant for the project “Leveraging the Power of Social Media and Mobile Point of Sales Systems at the Oshkosh Farmers Market.” This project will leverage social media, mobile point of sale systems, and customer tracking technology to create a sustainable, competitive advantage for market vendors.

James Stute of East Troy, Wisconsin has recently received a $7,354 grant for the project “Evaluation of Oilseed Radish Biomass Management As A Control Strategy For Pests In No-Till Corn.” This project will investigate the efficacy of radish biomass on management of slug and nematode populations, and the impact on yield of no-till corn.

Cherrie Nolden of 1dr Acres Farm in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin will receive a $7,494 grant for the project “Portable Cold-weather Goat Shelter Development and Testing.” This project will develop and test cold-weather portable goat shelters, looking at goat preferences for variables of floor space, lighting level, and goat density.

Suzanne Zipperer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was awarded a $7,150 grant for the project “The In-Ground Greenhouse Provides An Energy Efficient Way To Extend The Growing Season In Wisconsin.” This project will research growing short-day length vegetables within an in-ground greenhouse in northeastern Wisconsin, utilizing an earth-berm to maintain growing temperatures. The greenhouse will use a design by Mike Oehler that has proven successful in other areas of the country. 

Thomas Parslow of Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens, Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin received a $7,460 grant for the project “Determine the Feasibility Of Growing And Processing Organic Grains For The Needy of the Dane County, Wisconsin.”

These grants were awarded as part of NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program, which is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. NCR-SARE administers several grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences, and timelines. The focus for all NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education.

In addition, SARE awarded a $2,000 grant to Jennica Skoug of Community GroundWorks in Madison, Wisconsin for the project “Youth Beekeeping & Entrepreneurship – Building a National Model.” With this grant, students at Community GroundWorks’ Goodman Youth Farm will become entrepreneurial beekeepers through hands-on experience with the farm’s two sustainably managed hives. A beekeeping intern will guide teams of middle and high school students through a nine-week beekeeping experience, from hive inspection to honey extraction. Young beekeepers will design and market bee products for sale at local outlets, and share their knowledge by presenting to three groups: visiting elementary school students, professional educators enrolled in a youth gardening course, and established local beekeepers. This grant was awarded as part of NCR-SARE’s Youth Educator Grant Program which supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. 

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds, based on how well the application articulates how the project will advance sustainable agriculture through research and/or education. The AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. For more information about SARE and the grant programs, visit the website athttp://www.northcentralsare.org