|Grazing livestock on well-managed pastures can increase average net income per animal. |
Photo by William Murphy.
Reaching a decade is a real milestone for SARE. Authorized in the 1985 Farm Bill, SARE began funding for competitive grants in 1988 for agricultural research and education with a $3.9 million budget.
Ten years later, SARE administers grants that advance sustainable agriculture systems in partnership with producers, farm consultants, university researchers and administrators, state and federal government agency staff and representatives from nonprofit organizations.
Some of those partners lead SARE grant projects; others serve on regional technical committees and administrative councils to provide policy direction, identify information needs, and, above all, select projects on a competitive basis.
To recognize the commitment of farmers, ranchers and agricultural educators, SARE has launched an innovative Producer Grant Program geared at on-farm research and a Professional Development Program targeted at Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
By 1997, Congress had increased funding for SARE to $11.3 million. That totals $80.6 million for sustainable agriculture programming over the last decade to fund close to 1200 projects.
We at SARE feel those resources have been put to good use. Read on to get a flavor of how that money has been spent to help farmers and ranchers adopt practices that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible.
HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED
Ten Years of SARE showcases the accomplishments of a unique USDA program that has made a difference in the lives of farmers and ranchers across the United States and Island Protectorates.
To select a group of innovative, interesting, and impactful projects, SARE staff chose one project from each of its four regions from the following 10 categories: Crop Production, Animal Production, Natural Resource Protection, Marketing, Community Development, Education, Pest Management, Horticulture, Professional Development, and Integrated Farm/Ranch Systems.
Project features in each of those categories make up the heart of the book. To provide a snapshot of how much SARE has spent in each area, categories are displayed graphically when you link to "SARE Projects". A listing by category of all SARE projects funded from 1988 to 1997 is available when you link to "SARE Projects".