"One of the precepts of sustainability is that farmers learn from other farmers. Growers are the ones that can tweak and understand a practice and say, 'This really works this way'," says Steve Balling of Del Monte Foods. "It's what SARE was built upon."
Since its inception 30 years ago, the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has had a profound and positive impact on U.S. agriculture through its farmer-driven approach to research and education funding. Every aspect of the SARE program engages farmers and ranchers at the local and regional level, from establishing funding priorities to conducting research to sharing research results. This innovative approach has allowed SARE to channel millions of grant dollars toward production and marketing practices that bring direct benefit to local farmers and ranchers, their communities and the nation's land and water resources.