(Sorry about that first post. I don't know why it was undecipherable.
SOUTHERN SARE GRANT AWARDS
REFLECT FARMERS INFORMATION NEEDS
Addressing subjects as varied as fire ant management and solar-kiln
timber drying, the Southern SARE has announced competitive grant
awards for 2000. More than $1.7 million was awarded through the four
grant programs within the SSARE family, with $1.2 million split
between the Research and Education projects and the Graduate Student
awards, almost $320,000 allocated to the Professional Development
Program and more than $230,000 administered through the Producer Grant
Program. The investment will support 43 new research, education and
professional development projects in twelve Southern states, Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Along with the usual topics of IPM, composting, pastured livestock
and production systems, more than 25% of the successful proposals
addressed marketing, according to Jeff Jordan regional coordinator of
Southern SARE and an agricultural economics professor at the
University of Georgia. "By encouraging research, education and
training in marketing, SARE is responding to what farmers and
extension agents report as their greatest information need. In a
recent survey conducted by our office, small farm survival and
marketing were ranked far above other categories. It's easy to see
how the two topics are related. Previous and on-going SARE research
has proved that farmers can reduce off-farm inputs and grow abundant
crops; the remaining key to their survival is marketing those crops
at a profit."
A boost to the marketing thrust came from USDA's
Agricultural Marketing Service in the form of a partnership through
SARE's Producer Grant Program.
"The partnership came about late in our grant cycle, giving
applicants only about six weeks to design marketing projects," said
John C. Mayne, producer grants coordinator. "We received 47
marketing proposals, along with 58 non-marketing proposals. The AMS
funds allowed us to make six additional marketing awards, for a
total of 11 marketing projects and 12 non-marketing projects."
The four new Professional Development Program projects reflect
regional concerns and training needs related to the farming
environment, Hispanics in farming and the abilities of extension
agents and other ag professionals to plan and conduct valid field
"In professional development as well as research, the SARE program
engages people from the agricultural community in deciding how the
program's resources will be invested,"" says Roger Crickenberger, of
NCSU Cooperative Extension and a member of the PDP management team.
"One of the tenets of the SARE program is that farmers and members
of ag-related non-governmental organizations work with the land
grant universities to develop and evaluate proposals, and through
the Administrative Council, select the best projects for funding.
It's through this stakeholder involvement that the program continues
to fund projects that are relevant in the southern region."
Besides the competitive PDP grants, an additional $150,000 is
administered through individual state sustainable agriculture
coordinators for state-level professional development activities.
Graduate Student Awards, new this year, went to six young researchers
in four states and Puerto Rico.
"They were awarded on a trial basis this year," says program director
"However, after seeing the quality of the 25 proposals submitted, the
voted to make the Graduate Student Awards permanent. By providing
funds early in their career, SARE can influence future researchers to
explore sustainable solutions to agricultural problems." The SARE
program was first authorized by Congress in the 1985 Farm Bill as a
national program with regional administration. Since then more than
1900 projects have been funded nation-wide.
In the Southern Region approximately $20 million has been invested in
300 projects. Southern SARE is guided by an Administrative Council
made up of
producers, researchers, extension personnel, and other agricultural
professionals. The University of Georgia and Fort Valley State
University host the program at the UGA Experiment Station in Griffin,
The Southern Region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida,
Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands. The new grant cycles begin in May with the release of
the Graduate Student Award Call for Proposals. In June, the calls for
the Research and Education Program and the Professional Development
Program will be released, followed by the call for Producer Grants in
September. Potential applicants can contact the Southern SARE office
at (770) 412-4787 or go to www.griffin.peachnet.edu/sare for more
information and copies of the calls.
(Contact me for a state-by-state listing of the awards. Gwen)
Southern Region SARE
1109 Experiment Street
Griffin, GA 30223
Ph: (770) 412-4786
Fax: (770) 412-4789
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