Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program

Welcome to the Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) website! The purpose of this website is to help you find information on SARE local, regional and national programs, grants and resources. It also provides updates on relevant news and events going on in Iowa and affecting Iowa agriculture. Since 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program has advanced profitable and environmentally sound farming systems that are good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program.

Iowa SARE PDP Program State Initiatives

  • Building Leadership, Communication, and Capacity in Sustainable Agriculture
  • Implementing Diversified Production and Marketing Systems
  • Scaling up and Strengthening Local Foods Systems
  • Addressing Issues in Soil Health, Water Quality, Energy and Climate
  • Strengthening the Success and Sustainability of Beginning Farmers

Iowans Received NCR SARE Grant Funding in 2018-2019

Professional Development:

  • Growing Organic Expertise in Iowa. (Rosalyn Lehman, Iowa Organic Association) 2018


  • Establishing the Value of Flower Companions in Cucurbits. (Rob Faux of Genuine Faux Farm in Tripoli, Iowa) 2018.

Graduate Student:

  • Linking Agricultural Production and Conservation Through In-field Prairie Plantings. (Lydia English and Professor Matt Liebman, Iowa State University) 2018.
  • The Effects of Two Winter Rye Cover Crop Seeding Methods on Corn Disease, Growth and Development. (Sarah Kurtz and Professor Alison Robertson, Iowa State University) 2018.
  • How Much Does Diversification Improve Soil Water Holding Capacity? (Virginia Nichols and Professor Matt Liebman, Iowa State University) 2018.

Research and Education:

  • Treating Small Grains as a Cash Crop: Stepping up Small Grain Variety Selection for Cornbelt Farmers. (Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa) 2018.
  • Optimizing Mesotunnel Systems for Sustainable Production of Cucurbit Crops. (Mark Gleason, Iowa State University) 2018.
  • Redefining the Field Edge. (Mark Licht, Iowa State University) 2018.


  • Agronomy in the Field: A Women's Cohort for Increasing Capacity of Agronomic and Conservation Principles. (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach) 2017.

Youth Educator:

  • Paddocks, Pastures, and People (Dan Loy of Iowa Beef Industry Center in Ames, IA) 2018
  • Ag Arts Partnership for Southwest Iowa. (Michelle Wodtke Franks of Golden Hills RC&D in Oakland, IA) 2018

You can learn more about the progress of these projects later this year and previous projects funded through SARE by searching the SARE data base at:


Upcoming Events in Iowa:

  • Practical Farmers of Iowa, DIY Watering and Corral Systems for Cattle and Pigs Field Day, Friday, August 24 - 2-6 p.m., Jake & Crystal Bigelow, 1854 275th St., Winterset. RSVP to Debra Boehkholder, 
    • If you want to learn do-it-yourself solutions for livestock infrastructure, this field day is for you! Jake will show five styles of cattle and pig watering systems that he installed himself, each fed by different water sources and will discuss their pros and cons. He'll show us five different cattle corral set-ups, pointing out problem spots, what works well with each one and different brands of chutes and head gates he recommends. We'll also see old grain bins that have been converted into finishing barns for his pigs. We'll travel on hayracks to different pastures, but this field day will involve walking.