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 2019 Annual Conference: Cultivating Connections, January 17-19
    • ​​​​​​​At Practical Farmers’ 2019 annual conference, Cultivating Connections, you’ll have a chance to reconnect with old friends, cultivate new relationships and learn from a community that believes in sharing knowledge to benefit everyone. This year’s conference will focus on how to cultivate connections that nurture a purposeful path. Join us at the Scheman Building located at 1805 Center Dr, Ames, IA 50011. For more information and to register visit their website here.


  • Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Annual Conference, January 24-25

    • ​​​​​​​Why should you attend the conference? Here are just a few of the reasons: presentations by industry experts and expert growers, large tradeshow featuring exhibitors with the latest seeds, supplies, equipment, and grower information; farm listing on our website and farm search function; and the recognition of being associated with a highly regarded state wide organization. The conference will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC Campus, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, IA 50023. For more information and to purchase your tickets visit their website here.