Friday, April 16, 2010

SARE Grant for Research and Education?!?! ….just ask the farm girl

Research in agriculture is a strong component of the industry’s continued efficiencies in production, while also addressing environmentally, economically and socially responsible practices. I have become more familiar with some aspects of ag research through my husbands work, but before I get to that; I wanted to tell you about the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant for Research and Education Programs.

The SARE Research & Education Grant Program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through in-depth research projects or education/demonstration projects. Additionally, proposed projects should focus on farm and ranch profitability, marketing sustainable agriculture products and include a strong outreach component.

Grant funds range from $10,000 to 200,000. The North Central SARE grant is open to 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Pre-proposals are due on June 11, 2010. More information regarding this grant and the application can be found at:

To close I wanted to share a fun story about my husband. As I previously mentioned he does research for an Agri-chemical company and one day last summer I went out with him to look at some of his trials (fields). We walked out into a soybean field that had been planted with two different types of soybean seed. Once we reached the point in the field where it was divided between the two trials he asked me which side looked better. (Now, before I go any further in this story I have to tell you; I’m a farm girl. I grew up around corn and soybeans. I have heard many a conversation by farmers or even my own family talking about how their soybeans looked, if they had soybean aphids, when they started to turn yellow, how big or small the pods were and on and on.) To my left the soybeans were shorter, had some little holes in the leaves from pest damage, and looked to have fewer seed pods. To my right the soybeans were taller, greener, a lot more seed pods that were fuller looking and just an overall more vivacious looking plant. So, obviously… I picked the ones on the right. My husband agreed and the next day at work he was reporting his findings to his co-workers and said to them, “Even my wife, and her untrained eye, knew which soybeans were superior.”
Untrained eye!?!? All I can say is… it’s a good thing he asked (and married) a farm girl….

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