West

Videos from the Field

SARE, in partnership with Cooking Up A Story, has produced a series of how-to videos showcasing production and marketing practices used by some of the nation’s most successful sustainable farmers and ranchers.

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What is Soil Health?

Soil health plays an essential role in raising healthy, productive crops and livestock. With this interactive infographic, learn how practices such as cover crops, no-till, crop rotation and the integration of livestock work in concert to improve soil health.

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Cover Crop Economics

Cover crops can build soil health, control weeds, conserve moisture, provide grazing opportunities and more. But when do they start to pay for themselves? This analysis looks at the economics behind different management scenarios to determine if cover crops are likely to improve profitability in one, three or five years of use in corn and soybean rotations. 

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2019/2020 Report from the Field

Stories of how recent SARE grantees are improving the sustainability of U.S. agriculture, plus a snapshot of our total investment in research and education projects since 1988.

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Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Nourishing Communities

Sustainable agriculture is a way of life for rancher Jim Freeburn and farmer Hannah Smith-Brubaker. On this episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast they talk about what sustainable agriculture means to them and the impact it has on local communities and economies. Listen to or download the episode now Freeburn, who ranches in Wyoming, stresses […]

2018 SARE Fellows

SARE Fellows Visit Oregon

Every year since 2007, USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension program (SARE) and the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) has offered a national Fellows program. The program is designed for Extension faculty who are interested in learning more about sustainable agriculture in different parts of the country. Eight Fellows, two from each of […]

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Our Farms, Our Future Podcast: Water Challenges

Water rarely cooperates when it comes to growing crops – sometimes we have too much of it, while other times there just isn’t enough. For Amy Garrett in western Oregon, summer months often bring almost no rainfall. In Iowa, Ron Rosmann sees growing seasons with heavy downpours that increase water quality risks associated with lost […]

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30 Years of SARE: Our Farms, Our Future

30 Years of SARE: Our Farms, Our Future tells the story of thousands of men and women who have led SARE and received SARE grants. They have one objective in common: making American agriculture stronger, more sustainable and better equipped to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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10 Ways Cover Crops Enhance Soil Health

Soil health is a hot topic these days, one that is justifiably receiving considerable attention from farmers and their farm advisors. This short fact sheet highlights some of the key ways that cover crops improve soil health by influencing the biological and physical characteristics of the soil.
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The Power of Data: Improving the Management of Rangeland Ecosystems

California's rangelands face a wide range of challenges, from invasive species and pests to flooding and drought. Much of the knowledge of how to manage rangelands effectively resides in the personal experience of land managers. To capitalize on this collective wisdom, University of California Davis researchers partnered with ranchers around the region to compile a database of site-specific management information that can help everybody take better care of the land.

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Our Farms, Our Future Podcast Series

The Our Farms, Our Future podcast series brings together the sustainable agriculture community for thought-provoking conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here, and where we're headed.

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Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures

Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures describes the fundamentals of sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability companies and C, S and B corporations in straightforward language, to help you choose the best entity for your operation. Selecting the right business entity for your farm is like building the foundation of a house.

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Supporting Farmer Training Programs in the West

“When I finally came (to ALBA’s Farmer Education Program), I learned so much! How to eat differently, how to plant without pesticides, how to harvest, move the boxes, move the product in the system.”  -Maria Ana Reyes, 2015 graduate of ALBA’s Farmer Education Course. Like Maria Ana Reyes, new and beginning farmers often need technical […]

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Growing the Field for Organic Conservation

As producers work to meet regulations under the National Organic Program (NOP) and become certified organic, they often apply conservation practices that align well with the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) conservation activities, such as green manures, buffer strips, and rotational grazing. NRCS assistance is being sought by both new and established organic farmers to […]

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Climate-Sustaining Agriculture

Often, farmers are willing to make changes in their growing practices to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their climate impact. Whether conventional or organic, agriculture can be a source of GHG emissions. Those farmers eager to modify their practices may lack the knowledge and tools to make effective choices. According to graduate student […]

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Researchers Say Hill-Climbing Cows May Bring Big Benefits for Western Ranchers

Conventional wisdom says cows don’t go up steep slopes. They don’t climb hills and don’t travel very far from water. But some cows never got that memo. “I’ve been watching cattle for years, and there are always some cows that just take off for the hills, like they didn’t know they weren’t elk,” said Derek […]