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30 Years of Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

Our Farms, Our Future

man touching the grass

Since 1988, more than $21 million in research funds have gone directly to America’s most innovative farmers and ranchers. In total, SARE has invested over $251 million in more than 6,300 projects. Read about SARE's investment in critical areas of sustainable agriculture, including the stories of individual grantees:

SOIL HEALTH | Farmer Network Commits to Cover Crops

GRAZING | Planned Grazing Boosts the Triple Bottom Line

WATER | Profitable production systems for a shrinking aquifer

PEOPLE | Economic opportunity for socially disadvantaged farmers

PESTS | Habitat enhancement reduces pesticide use

BIODIVERSITY | Finding native pollinators that boost apple yields

SPECIALTY CROPS | Financial training improves business success

MARKETING | Goat dairy thrives in new retail markets

SARE SUPPORT | A summary of SARE funding across the country

Learn About SARE's Work Across America


"This project was the starting point for a very strong network of farmers who are innovating, experimenting and finding their work to be rewarding both intellectually and financially."

Robin Moore, Land Stewardship Project


The above comments by Robin Moore of the Land Stewardship Project in Minnesota refer specifically to a SARE-funded network of farmers using cover crops to improve soil health, but they could just as easily apply to the whole SARE program. Since 1988, USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has been a farmer-driven research and knowledge-sharing program, and among our greatest achievements is that we encourage farmers, ranchers, educators and researchers who are passionate about innovating, experimenting and finding ways to make growing food more rewarding for themselves, the environment and their communities.

The theme of this 30th anniversary report is “Our Farms, Our Future.” Taken together, the thousands of men and women who have received SARE grants and shaped SARE priorities over the years have one objective in common: making American agriculture stronger and more sustainable. There are as many ways to do this as there are farmers and ranchers in this country, so I invite you to read on for a glimpse at some ways motivated people are using SARE grants to make a difference both locally and nationally.

In this issue you will see how SARE investments are contributing in such critical areas as water conservation, grazing management, soil health, local market opportunities and the human dimensions of food production.

Rob Hedberg
SARE Director