SARE and NRCS: Conservation Partners
SARE is working to identify new partnership opportunities with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Land stewardship and resource conservation are of paramount importance to both SARE and NRCS. Specific areas of focus for both agencies include:
- Grazing and rangeland management
- Nutrient and pest management
- Soil and water quality
- Community development/quality of life
- Resource conservation
Collaboration at Work
SARE and NRCS have been working more closely in the last year to step up cooperation at national, regional and state levels. For example, SARE will be using its vast database of Research and Education projects to assist NRCS staff as they update their National Conservation Practice Standards. SARE and NRCS have many other opportunities to collaborate more closely in areas such as:
In Wisconsin, SARE teamed up with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI), NRCS, the University of Wisconsin Extension and Land Conservation Departments to sponsor field days that brought together farmers, state and federal agency staff, and other agriculture professionals to see how the CSP program is working for farmers in Wisconsin.
The program was also supported by Diane Mayerfeld, SARE state coordinator from Wisconsin, who set up information booths and encouraged Extension staff to attend the CSP events.
Many farmers who have received NRCS incentive or cost-share payments also have received SARE grants. Using NRCS funds for equipment or physical improvements and SARE grants for researching new methods allows farmers to increase financial security and reduce risk as they transition to conservation-oriented farming systems. Pairing SARE's farmer grants with NRCS conservation programs and technical assistance often produces an impact far beyond what a single program or grant could accomplish.