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 2019-2020
- IA Evaluating Direct to Consumer Marketing of Midwest Grown Hops.(Keri Byrum of Cedar Falls Hops Co.in Cedar Falls, IA) 2019.
- Development and Testing of a Drainable Floating Fish Tank for Fish Culture in Deep Water Bodies. (Jim Frey of Jim Frey Fish Hatchery in West Union, IA) 2019.
- Local Meal Kits: CSA Adaptation for Sustainability. (Jan Libbey of One Step at a Time Gardens in Kanawha, IA) 2019.
- SILT Development and Implementation of Iowa Landowners Guide to Sustainable Food Crops. (Suzan Erem of Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) in West Branch, IA) 2019.
- Women Farmland Owners as Sustainability Ambassadors: Educating Farmers and other Landowners to Make Changes. (Bridget Holcomb of Women, Food, and Agriculture Network in Ames, IA) 2019.
Research and Education, Graduate Student, and Professional Development:
- Reuniting the Three Sisters: Native American Intercropping and Soil Health. (Christina Gish Hill with Iowa State University) 2019.
- Towards Widespread Adoption of Prairie Conservation Strips: Case Studies Increase Expertise of Professional Farm Managers, Landowners, and Farmers. (Ashley Kittle with the Tallgrass Prairie Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa) 2019.
Graduate Student Grant:
- A Comparative Analysis of Iowa Watershed Organizations: Structure, Function, and Social Infrastructure. (Andrea Wagner along with Dr. Monica Haddad at Iowa State University) 2019.
Professional Development Program:
- Supporting Sustainable Small-Scale Animal Agriculture through Development of Biological Risk Management Educational Materials. (Renee Dewell with Iowa State University) 2019.
- Training Extension Professionals, High School Educators, and Local Food Coordinators on Basic and Advanced Aspects of Sustainable Vegetable Production. (Ajay Nair with Iowa State University) 2019.
- Expanding and Diversifying Farmer-Educator Capacity through Ambassador Academies. (Sally Worley with Practical Farmers of Iowa) 2019.
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: http://mysare.sare.org/search-projects/
Organic Certification Cost Share Program
OCCSP is a USDA Farm Service Agency that provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program. Applications for fiscal 2019 funding are due Oct. 31, 2019.
“Producers can visit their local FSA county offices to apply for up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “This also gives organic producers an opportunity to learn about other valuable USDA resources, like farm loans and conservation assistance, that can help them succeed. Organic producers can take advantage of a variety of USDA programs from help with field buffers to routine operating expenses to storage and handling equipment.”
To learn more about organic certification cost share, please visit the OCCSP webpage, view the notice of funds availability on the Federal Register, or contact your FSA county office. To learn more about USDA support for organic agriculture, visit usda.gov/organic.
Upcoming Events in Iowa:
2019 Iowa Organic Conference
The Iowa State University Organic Agriculture Program's 18th Annual Organic Conference will be held on the Sunday, Nov. 24 and Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 in the Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa. For more information and to register visit https://register.extension.iastate.edu/iowaorganic.
Why is soil health so important? More and more, producers are understanding that healthy soils are more productive and lead to healthier crops. Dig into this interactive infographic to learn more about sustainable production practices that can help build healthy soil. Explore the on-farm benefits of using cover crops, crop rotation, manure amendments, composting and more on the complex web of life below the surface of the soil.
Check out this interactive tool on SARE's website!