The USDA invests more than $46 million in sustainable agriculture research and education

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Washington, April 19, 2023 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an investment of more than $46 million in the Sustainable Agriculture Research, Education (SARE) Program, which has funded farmer-led grants and grassroots education programs resulting in climate-smart solutions for farms and growers on every reserve State and island since 1988.

“This investment in sustainable agriculture underscores USDA’s continued commitment to transforming our food and agricultural systems,” said Chavunda Jacobs-Young, USDA Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE). “Through this investment, SARE will continue to offer competitive grants and education programs that foster farmer-driven innovation to promote climate-smart practices, make sustainable producers more profitable, and improve local economies and quality of life in rural communities.”

That’s 10 years Awards It is prepared by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at four regional SARE host institutions and the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO). The scholarship recipients are the University of Minnesota (North Central Regional Host Institution for the Southeast Asia Region); University of Vermont (Northeast Surrey Regional Host Institution); University of Georgia (Southern Regional Host Institution for the Southeast European Region); Montana State University (Western SARE regional host institution); and the University of Maryland (NRCCO).

Since the approval of the Agriculture Act of 1990, SARE has supported farmers in four regions (north centralAnd the NortheastAnd southAnd the West), with each regional program hosted by the Land Grant Foundation guided by volunteer administrative boards that award grants and determine regional priorities. These councils include farmers and ranchers along with representatives from universities, government, agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Technical reviewers, who are also volunteers, provide professional and practical expertise to help boards evaluate project proposals.

“Sustainable agriculture is a top priority for NIFA across many of our programs as we seek to provide more profitable farm incomes, enhance environmental stewardship and improve the quality of life for farm families and communities,” said Dionne Toombs, acting director of the USDA NIFA. “In the past 35 years, with funding from NIFA, SARE has provided $380 million in grants to fund nearly 8,400 projects serving growers, farmers, and rural communities.”

These projects cover a wide range of topics, including supporting producers with on-farm renewable energy, pest and weed management, cover crops, high tunnel and session span, crop rotation, marketing, pollinator health, and local and regional food system development.

REE advances agricultural research, education, and extension across the country to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA invests in initiatives that ensure long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related science and technology reach the people who can put them into practice. In fiscal year 2022, NIFA’s total investment is $2.2 billion. For more information, visit the NIFA website:

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in many positive ways. In a Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the American food system with a greater focus on more resilient domestic and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, nutritious food in all communities, and building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers who use climate-smart food and forestry practices, make historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and commit to equality across governance by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit


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