Two Licking men recently received grants from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
Russ Wood was awarded a $17,625 grant for the project “adding value to a Missouri finFish and shellfish by developing a mobile processing unit.” Randy Wood received $5,961 for the project “adding value to a specialty crop greenhouse by creating a sustainable recirculating tilapia/basil aquaponic system.”
Both grants were awarded as part of NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program.
In 1992, the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program began a competitive grants program exclusively to fund producers striving for agricultural sustainability.
NCR-SARE recently made public the producers whose projects were recently recommended for funding through the Farmer Rancher Grant Program. Forty-six projects have been selected this year for funding in the region.
Every farmer and rancher will use the funding to implement a sustainable farm project — $6,000 can be awarded for individual farmers, and up to $18,000 can be awarded for groups of three or more farmers.
Funding considerations are made based on how well the applicant articulates the nature of the research and education components of their sustainable agriculture grant proposals. NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. A collection of farm and non-farm citizens, the council includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities and nonprofit organizations.
In addition, regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and NCR agribusinesses, state agencies and foundations sit at the table to distribute grant money.
Since 1988, the USDA’s NCR-SARE program has awarded more than $40 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.