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Southern SARE offers grant opportunities to individuals and institutions in the Southern
region. Below is a list of recently funded SARE projects in Arkansas within the past
five years. To find a complete list of reports on previously funded projects in Arkansas,
download the SSARE State Profile here. Reading through some of the project reports can help you understand the types of
projects SARE funds before you submit a grant yourself.
Research & Education Grants provide funding for systems research projects that address issues of sustainable
agriculture of current and potential importance to the region and the nation. SSARE
seeks projects that explore a system approach to sustainable agriculture and also
have an educational/outreach component to extend the project findings to the public.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Joan Burke, USDA-ARS
This project will show it is possible to provide a strategy to offer the fungus Duddingtonia flagrans, which controls gastrointestinal worms on pasture leading to improved animal health
and productivity, and enhancing sustainability of livestock farms.
Read More About This Project Here.
Principal Investigator: Linda Coffey, National Center for Appropriate Technology
This project aims to empower and equip women farmers who are beginning grass-based
livestock enterprises to expand their knowledge and practice skills in goal setting,
soil health, regenerative grazing, animal handling, health, and direct marketing.
These skills are fundamental to both the success of a grass-based livestock business
and the long-term health of the land.
Read More About This Project Here.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Popp, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
To provide access to high quality, grazeable, and sustainable forage, this project
aims to study the feasibility of an integrated system using sub-surface poultry litter
application on pasture in tandem with planting a mix of summer annuals and legumes
to increase both the efficiency and level of nutrient application. This will enhance
both forage quality and quantity for grazing.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Dirk Philipp, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
This project aims at evaluating forage species and establishment method for both silvopasture
types. In established plantations, this project will test eight different high quality
perennial and annual grasses n single 40-foot alleys. The second project aims to test
the influence of decreasing levels of timber basal area in un-managed forests on growth
and persistence of orchardgrass and crimson clover and arrowleaf and novel endophyte
Principal Investigator: Margo Hale, National Center for Appropriate Technology
The "Take Your Farm to the Next Level" training course will address the business and
financial management of beginning farms. The goal is for participating farms to develop
detailed business and financial plans, recordkeeping systems, and improve their labor
management and marketing. Increased attention on the business aspects of the operation
will hopefully lead to more profitable farms and sustainable farms that continue to
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Young, Southern SAWG
The purpose of this project is to provide at least 190 more small-and mid-scale diversified
producers with tools and management training that will help them improve their record-keeping
systems and business analysis skills so they can make better, more data-informed business
decisions that improve their profitability.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Elena Garcia, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
The purpose of this project is to investigate the productivity, efficiency, and economic
feasibility of using high tunnel technology as a tool for expanding table grape production
to areas where open field vineyard management requires high levels of inputs due to
both biotic and abiotic challenges. In addition, high tunnel table grape production
can provide limited resource farmers with diversification options for their farming
Education grants are open to academic institutions and organizations, such as non-profits and non-governmental
organizations, who are interested in conducting education and outreach activities
for the benefit of the greater sustainable ag community, and promote efforts in farmer
innovations, community resilience, business success, agricultural diversification,
and best management practices. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 1890 land-grant
university faculty/extension cooperators are especially encouraged to apply for this
grant for their education and outreach activities. SSARE also considers proposals
from organizations/institutions whose projects involve farmers from indigenous agriculture
that produces products for community food systems.
Principal Investigator: Kelly Nuckolls, Esp., J.D., LL.M. Program in Food and Agriculture Law, University of Arkansas
This project hopes to provide educational tools and training for farmers and processors
to understand and manage their risks when it comes to humane handling regulations
and preventing business shutdowns. Through a guide for farmers on humane handling
regulations and issues, we hope to educate farmers about the legal requirements small
slaughter and processing plants must comply with, as a number of farmers are considering
more on-farm slaughter options due to the processing bottleneck.
Read more about this project here.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jacquelyn Mosley, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
There is a strong need to create agricultural sciences and technology curriculum for
underrepresented students in the state of Arkansas. The ultimate goal is to increase
the number of underrepresented students pursuing agricultural degrees and expand the
community of diverse agricultural leaders in Arkansas to foster more expansive representation
and mentors for future students. AR CommUniversity plays a key role in expanding the
state of Arkansas’ capabilities in agricultural research and supporting its land-grant
Principal Investigator: Kesha Cobb, The Sustainability Project
The Innovative Urban Ag Project is an educational campaign that harnesses technology
and the latest growing practices in urban agriculture and beyond to deliver higher
food production in smaller spaces with a net zero carbon foot print as a goal. In
tandem with this two year project, there will be an educational, interactive mobile
app that keeps growers updated and engaged through the process of achieving this goal.
To elevate the experience of the project, an annual conference will be held to bring
it all together as a mecca of all things ag advancement.
Principal Investigator: Linda Coffey, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
This project, Regenerative Land and Livestock Management for Women, aims to empower
and equip women farmers who are beginning grass-based livestock enterprises to expand
their knowledge and practice skills in goal setting, soil health, regenerative grazing,
animal handling, health, and direct marketing. These skills are fundamental to both
the success of a grass-based livestock business and the long-term health of the land.
Principal Investigator: Margo Hale, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
The Professional Development Program (PDP) grants, known as the "Train-the Trainer" grants, are available to help further
education and outreach strategies for ag professionals and ag educators who work directly
with farmers and ranchers. The grant funds training activities that educate ag professionals
in up-to-date strategies and technologies to help farmers and ranchers increase profits
and lessen environmental impacts. PDP grants support such activities such as producing
workshops, creating educational manuals and videos, or conducting on-farm tours and
Principal Investigator: Dr. Amanda McWhirt, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Basic and up-to-date information on the use of sustainable production of strawberries
is not currently covered by existing trainings in the Southeast despite great need
for the content. In-field demonstration and virtual field tours will be utilized by
our project to increase the capacity of Cooperative Extension Service (CES) agents
and Natural Resources Conservations Service (NRCS) personnel to recommend sustainable
practices to annual plasticulture strawberry growers in Arkansas and the Southeast.
Principal Investigator: Nina Prater, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Interest is growing in practices that utilize grazing management to rebuild the health
of degraded soils. The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will host
four two-day workshops for educators and mentor farmers in AR, TX, and MS to provide
information and hands-on training on regenerative grazing, soil health, and monitoring.
NCAT will collaborate with partners at NRCS, extension service, conservation districts,
and local farmers to create curriculum and a compilation of resources for participants,
which will also be shared on-line.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Aaron Cato, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
To increase the adoption of sustainable pest management and production practices in
fresh-market vegetable production, Extension personnel must be properly educated and
have access to training materials. The goal of this project is to develop sustainable
pest-management and irrigation curricula for University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension
Service (UACES) county agents to utilize.
In order to increase the use of cover crops as a management technique for vegetable
production systems in the Mid-South region, growers and Extension personnel must be
appropriately educated. This project seeks to provide such education in Arkansas by
using UACES Horticulture Specialists and a NRCS Agronomist in a “train-the-trainer”
model to educate UACES County Extension agents, NRCS agents and grower “leaders”.
Producer Grants provide farmers the opportunity to conduct their own research projects to solve challenges
and problems they face, and develop information on what works and doesn't work so
that other farmers and ranchers facing similar problems can benefit from the results
of the project. There are no restrictions on farm size or length of time an applicant
has been farming. However, producer grants are designed for farmers already established
in their farming operation, and not be beginning farmers or ranchers.
Principal Investigator: Megan Thomas, Samaritan Community Center
This project will test the repeated use of biologically rich vermicast extracts and
mixed cover cropping to identify changes in soil health and quantify changes in crop
yields or quality post amendments. We will also identify disease and pest prevalence
pre and post introduction of amendments to the soil.
Principal Investigator: Krissy Waters, Sunchild Flourish Co., LLC
There is a current lack of research of incorporating cultivated domesticated crops
in agroforestry systems and how production may be increased by these systems that
also benefits sustainability of agriculture, in addition to the value-added potentiality
for this production. We seek to introduce a standard companion planting system (legumes,
alliums, borage, spinach) that has performed well in organic biointensive agriculture
into an agroforestry system through the use of alley cropping.
On-Farm Research Grants provide opportunities for those ag professionals working directly with farms and ranchers
on sustainable ag efforts. Emphasizing relationship building between researcher and
farmer, On-Farm Research Grants have no pre-proposal requirements, nor are applicants
asked to demonstrate specific outcomes in an intensive way. Agricultural professionals
who currently and regularly work with farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for
On-Farm Research Grants.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Benjamin Runkle, University of Arkansas
Fish in the Fields (FIF) is seeking answers to the question of how fish can be used
to reduce methane emissions from rice. All necessary conditions are present for the
replication of prior research protocols and results in California. We believe that
applying Dr. Devlin’s research to Arkansas’s rice fields via FIF will provide the
scientific basis for expanding rice-fish farming systems across rice acreage worldwide,
which will in turn, strengthen FIF’s work to its initial goals of sustainable agricultural
innovation, water conservation, migratory waterfowl habitat preservation, and social
Significant progress has been made in identifying sheep that are superior for parasite
resistance in the last few years. This greatly helps with raising sheep sustainably,
organically, and in forage systems on pasture. Coupling genetic resistance with better
management will allow more producers to be economically successful. Our aim is to
increase the number of flocks with parasite resistance and show producers the value
of sheep with high resistance.
Principal Investigator: Matthew Davis, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
To keep soybean production sustainable in a nematode infested field we will hopefully
achieve better control with cover crop rotation that will allow the soybean to reach
maturity. Once we have a better understanding of the data for cover crop options we
hope to add more cover crop varieties into the mix offering farmers a variety of solutions
across different land types. This research will be a critical tool to help farmers
combat the growing concern that is the nematode pest in the South.
Graduate Student Grants were established to give Master's and PhD students the opportunity to conduct sustainable
agriculture research projects. It has been a vehicle to apply for other SARE grants
as students further their research careers. The main objective of the Graduate Student
Grants is to prepare the next generation of scientists in researching sustainable
solutions to the challenges farmers and ranchers face each day, and to prepare young
professionals to work together with other scientists, educators, and farmers to test
sustainable ag theories in real-world, on-farm situations.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Emmanuel Asiamah, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
To contribute to the reduction of animal and foodborne related diseases by using natural
immunomodulators such as Ganoderma Lucidium to improve gastrointestinal functionality
and immune status of goats. The aim is to provide the farmer with a cost-effective,
eco-friendly means to help reduce, if not prevent, the incidence of disease in their
herd. This project will broadly contribute to efforts to make livestock production
safer and more sustainable.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Neelandra Joshi, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
With this on-farm study, we aim to quantify ecosystem services of wild bees and other
beneficial insects that help in suppressing crop pest populations by biological control.
Following the establishment of diverse native floral resource plots between rows of
apple trees in NW Arkansas apple orchards, we will assess their effectiveness at attracting
and retaining diverse assemblages of these beneficial insects.
Current agricultural conventions tend to favor unbroken landscapes of monoculture
crops. Though these fields can be efficient for farm equipment, there is evidence
that they are inadequate for soil, pollinator, and ecosystem health. With this study,
we aim to investigate whether the addition of native plant mixes and a higher diversity
of floral resources in an area can improve the nutrient quality of the soil and the
healthy development of native bee species.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Beth Kegley, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Use by ruminant animals of organic waste material from food processing operations
potentially reduces costs and reduces environmental issues from disposal of these
residues. The objective of this research is to evaluate the storage and feeding value
of residual from edamame soybean processing in ruminant animals.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Renee Threlfall, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture worked with a farmer's market
in Rogers, AR to produce value-added products from market surplus (2018) and to collect
data on produce type, availability, and price (2018 and 2019) to assess the economic
feasibility of using farmer's market surplus for value-added products.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jackie Lee, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
This will be a 1-year project designed to determine the cover crop monocultures or
mixtures best suited for the watermelon disease suppression, pollinator production,
and bridging beneficial insects into watermelon production systems. To achieve this
goal, insects will be sampled in various cover crop treatments before planting, and
disease and insects will be evaluated in the subsequently planted watermelon.
Use of pollinators to maximize crop production is a proven agricultural practice but
little is known about integration with livestock production. Field studies will be
conducted at the USDA, ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farm Research Center where multiple
plots have been planted with seed mixtures of all natives including floral and grass