From the Field Archives - More From the Collection

From the Field Archives - More From the Collection

From the Field Archives - More From the Collection

Land Grant Student Makes Key Discoveries in Exurban Farming

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Graduate student's research on agriculture at the rural-urban interface has profound implications for government farm policy.

Turning Urban Lots into Lots of Food

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Will Allen is using innovative soil-building techniques and educational programs to lead the way in urban agriculture.

Dakota Farmer's Success Catches On

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Dan Forgey uses no-till, cover crops and crop rotations to build soil health, manage weeds and maximize rainfall.

Patch Burning for Cattle and Prairie: Doing Well by Doing Good

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

A Kansas rancher uses patch burning to improve the nutritional value of her prairies while protecting diverse native species.

Rural Revitalization through Farm-Based Enterprise

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

For decades, John Allen has helped farmers develop business skills and strategies, improving their profitability and helping to revitalize rural communities.

Close to the Ground

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Close to the Ground was a quarterly publication of the Land Stewardship Project and the Biological, Social, and Financial Monitoring Project. The newsletter served as a sounding board for questions and experiences of those 'out there' who are monitoring any aspect of their home life and natural landscape.

Controlling Saline Seeps

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

A fact sheet on the causes and techniques for managing saline seep, also known as alkali spots or slick spots.

Perennial Grass Covers Affect Long-Term Soil Quality

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This project investigated soil organic matter accumulations, soil respiration, and soil food webs in riparian grass filters on private farms in northern Story County, Iowa.

Grower to Grower

Creating a livelihood on a fresh market vegetable farm

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

A case study to help guide growers as they set financial and quality of life goals for their farms and structure their operations to realize those goals.

Herd Health in Alternative Swine Systems

A Guide

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This guide covers alternative swine system management strategies including stock introduction, breeding, farrowing, veterinary services, vaccinations and more.

Begin Farming Ohio

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

This website makes it easy for Ohio’s beginning farmers to find valuable services and resources.

Greenhouse Energy Conservation Strategies and Alternative Fuels

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Includes curriculum materials, extension bulletins, resource lists, and a greenhouse energy model that were developed with the intention that educators can use the materials in full or part to deliver programming on energy management and conservation for greenhouse production.

Thermal Banking for Cold Storage

Steven Schwen

Type: Multimedia

Steven Schwen's innovative energy conservation strategy uses thermal banking technology to conserve heat in his greenhouse and for cold storage.

Thermal Banking Greenhouses

Steven Schwen

Type: Multimedia

Steven Schwen uses thermal banking to significantly reduce the energy costs of running a greenhouse for cold-season production.

Earthen Path Organic Farm

Steven Schwen

Type: Multimedia

Steven Schwen’s farming roots were established during the ‘back to the land’ movement in the 1970s. Earthen Path Organic Farm grew out of his vision of a sustainable world based on local economies.

Adding Cover Crops to a No-Till System

Dan Forgey

Type: Multimedia

South Dakota farm manager Dan Forgey has improved soil quality and the bottom line by successfully introducing cover crops to his long-term no-till system.

Growing Cover Crops with a Cash Crop

Dan Forgey

Type: Multimedia

Dan Forgey describes how he grows cover crop mixes in synch with a cash crop of corn, and gets strong yields without chemical fertilizer.

No-Till Farmer: Steward of the Land

Dan Forgey

Type: Multimedia

Dan Forgey has farmed for 40 years based on the belief that if you take care of the land, it will take care of you, evidenced by his commitment to no-till, cover crops and crop diversity.

Grant Recipient Touts Benefits of Tallgrass Prairies

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

NCR-SARE Graduate Student grant recipient Meghann Jarchow and other Iowa State University (ISU) researchers say tallgrass prairies offer many other benefits to landowners in addition to fertile soil.

Outreach Effort in MN and IA Promotes Cover Crop Adoption

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Practical Farmers of Iowa and Rural Advantage partnered to disseminate information to farmers and key participants through farmer field schools utilizing hands-on experience and practice, crop field days, and workshops to tell neighbors about cover crops. The project began in 2009, and the outreach is resulting in more landowners understanding the multiple benefits of installing these conservation practices.

Double Cropping Field Peas May Offer Economic Sustainability for Midwest Swine Producers

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Research at Iowa State University (ISU) may be good news for swine producers who have been facing high grain prices. Coordinated by Jim Fawcett, the team’s recent research at ISU has demonstrated that field peas can be utilized as a partial substitute for soybean meal or corn in swine diets.

Student Studies Soil Management and Organic Blueberry Production in Michigan

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Michigan State University (MSU) graduate student, Jesse Sadowsky, received an NCR-SARE $9,900 Graduate Student Grant to conduct an observational study to examine the effects of both organic and conventional management on plant health and soil biology in blueberry fields in Michigan.

Wisconsin Farmers Explore Feeding Strategies for Pasture Raised Poultry

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Three farms in the Mason, WI area concerned about health and safety of big barn chickens have created a how-to manual and a research bulletin that share information about feeding strategies for pasture raised poultry.

Barbara Norman Receives NCR-SARE Diversity Program Grant

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

NCR-SARE developed a Diversity Goals Narrative to clarify NCR-SARE’s goals for its new diversity initiative and initiated a special call for the Diversity Research and Education Grant Program.The special call for the Diversity Research and Education Grant Program’s purpose was to fund people and/or projects that could help NCR-SARE reach and work with underserved audiences to improve agricultural sustainability in the region.

Equine Foresty: A Minnesota Logger Seeks to Educate the Public on Low-Impact Forest Harvesting

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

After working at a treatment facility for juveniles for 16 years, Tim Carroll never planned to have a successful career logging with horses. But when Carroll married his wife, Doreen, who had three riding horses, he soon grew attached to draft horses and began using them to plow his driveway and do other work on his property.

Soon after, down the road from his home in Minnesota, Carroll noticed a neighbor had hired a machine logger. The rest, you could say, is history.

NCR-SARE's Continuing Face of Sustainable Agriculture Project

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

“Can a Jewish girl from Brooklyn, NY, have anything to say about the future of agriculture?” asked Ohio farmer Shoshanah Inwood of Columbus. The answer to her question must be a resounding “yes” since Inwood won the SARE 2008 New Voices Contest.

In support of SARE’s mission to advance sustainable practices and innovations to the whole of American agriculture, SARE’s 2008 New Voices Contest called for written, audio, and or video submissions that articulated new perspectives and illustrated an inspirational and pioneering vision for the advancement of sustainable agriculture over the next 20 years.

Kids Get the Skinny on Whole Grains in North Dakota Systems

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Working in an extension office, co-owner of Dakota Family Mill, Adrian Biewer, became aware of the health needs that wholegrain products could address. Developing a better tasting wholegrain product made practical sense.

In 2006, the farm families of Dakota Family Mill, Duane and Jean Smith, Bob and Debra Evenson, and Adrian and Anne Biewer, submitted a proposal to the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant program, and were selected for funding.

Farm Dreams Take Shape for Farm Beginnings Student

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Beginning farmers in South Dakota have an opportunity to learn first-hand about lowcost, sustainable methods of farming and gather the tools to successfully launch a farm enterprise thanks to Dakota Rural Action’s Farm Beginnings program.

In 2009 Tonya Haigh and Frank James with Dakota Rural Action submitted a proposal for an NCR-SARE Researchand Education Grant and were awarded $25,000 to evaluate and refine the Farm Beginnings platform, which was developed by the Land Stewardship Project, in order to meet the unique needs of beginning farmersand ranchers in SD. As a result, the SD BeginningFarmer Training and Linking project was developed to build an educational network for beginning farmers in SD.

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Award Winning Farm Family Conducts Research and Outreach on Traditional Hmong Herbs

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Minnesota, Mhonpaj Lee, NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant recipient, is researching and documenting information about traditional Hmong herbs. In addition to her job as a translator at Hennepin County Medical Center, Lee farms with her family. They are currently offering shares from the first certified organic Hmong owned and operated Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operation.

Researcher Devotes Career to Producing Disease and Mite Resistant Queen Honey Bees

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Rochester, IL, Stu Jacobson is attempting to increase interest and understanding among beekeepers in Illinois, eastern Missouri, and southern Wisconsin.

Developing an Effective Strategy for Management of Internal Discoloration of Horseradish Root

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

This study was conducted to develop an effective method for management of internal discoloration of horseradish roots. Internal discoloration of horseradish is a disease complex caused by at least three fungi, Verticillium dahliae, V. longisporum, and Fusarium solani. These fungi are carried in the propagating roots (set-borne inoculum) and also survive in the soil (soil-borne inoculum). 

North Dakota Farming Family Uses Livestock to Restore the Land

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

A group of farmers in Wimbledon, ND are working to turn a conventional chemically dependent farm into a fertile, sustainable, organic, farming unit. What started as a farm restoration project for the sake of their beef market ended by using all of the livestock to restore the soil.

Farm Beginnings Graduate Continues Family’s Organic Farming Tradition

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Beginning farmers in South Dakota have an opportunity to learn first-hand about lowcost, sustainable methods of farming and gather the tools to successfully launch a farm enterprise thanks to Dakota Rural Action’s Farm Beginnings program. 

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Missouri Farmer Develops Sustainable Irrigation System for Organic Vegetable Production Systems

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Ashland, MO, Dan Kuebler is creating an affordable, efficient, and sustainable irrigation system for a two acre organic vegetable operation. Since 1977, Dan Kuebler has been running a certified organic garden operation in Ashland.

Building Capacity to Engage Latinos in Local Food Systems in the Heartland

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

A new program has been developed in Iowa and Kansas to train Extension and other professionals to increase their awareness of Latino culture and community.

The “Building Capacity to Engage Latinos in Local Food Systems” project was designed to provide Extension educators and other agricultural professionals in Iowa and Kansas with the knowledge and skills to identify and respond to the needs and goals of Latino growers and produces and their families.

Organic Dairy 101: A Workshop for Agricultural Professionals Systems

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

The Organic Dairy Short Course for Ag Professionals, a Professional Development Grant Program project, aimed at improving the ability of public and private sector agricultural educators and advisors to serveorganic and transitional organic dairy producers.

The project developed, delivered, and evaluated a professional development training module called “Organic Dairy 101: A Workshop for Agricultural Professionals” at four locations in Minnesota and three in Wisconsin, training a total of 174 dairy andagriculture professionals. 

Evaluation of Supplemental Flowering Plant Strips for Sustainable Enhancement of Beneficial Insects

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

The primary short-term goal of this graduate student grant project was to test a strategy for utilization of  native plants to increase biodiversity in a perennial fruit system. This project is of particular relevance to specialty crop farmers that are under pressure to reduce pesticide inputs while also producing the highest quality food. 

Training Farmers in Sustainable, Local Food Production and Marketing

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

The Growing Growers Training Program is a collaborative effort to train new sustainable and organic market farmers to serve the Kansas City food shed, and to develop the skills of current producers.

Developing Added Value, Convenience Products From Free-Range Pastured Chickens

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Canistota, SD, a group of family farmers have been experimenting with methods for adding value to their products and income to their operations.

Tom and Ruth Neuberger were traditional livestock farmers in ‘70’s. During the credit crunch of early 80’s they found themselves in debt “up to their ears.” They sold off their livestock to pay off debt, and then had to devise a new business plan. 

They turned to poultry. 

Does a C3-C4 Forage Mix Simultaneously Improve Forage Production and Carbon Sequestration?

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, Herika Kummel, conducted an experiment in two restored prairies in southern Wisconsin to assess their carbon sequestration potential under a gradient of warm-season grass (C4) to cool-season (C3) pasture grass ratios. The sites were the Bison Ridge Ranch in Marquette County and the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Arlington Agricultural Research Station in Columbia County. 

Organic Production and Marketing of Forest Medicinals

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

The scope of this NCR-SARE Research and Education project was designed to assist the Roots of Appalachia Growers Association (RAGA) develop a learning network among growers, to close the gap between growers and current research activities, and support RAGA entering the marketplace.

Nebraska Greenhouse Operator Evaluates the Feasibility of Biomass Heating

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Firth, NE, Stacy Adams operates a family greenhouse business as a second income. Adams is a professional horticulturist, raised in construction. For many years Adams has been a building manager and actively involved with renovation of greenhouse structures and mechanical repairs at his place of employment.

Ohio Katahdin Sheep Producer Finds a Fairly High Heritability for Resistance to Parasites in the Breed

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Wooster, Ohio, a producer of Katahdin sheep is working with producers from two other states on the heritability of parasite resistance. The group is investigating methods of identifying ewes with a reduced periparturient rise. They are comparing the fecel egg count of sheep selected for their low fecal egg counts as lambs to determine how it relates to their adult parasite resistance and that of their offspring. 

Black Walnut Hulls: Turning Trash into Treasure

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Chris Chmiel is reinventing compost at his Albany, OH farm, Integration Acres Ltd.

Although Chmiel is widely known for his involvement in the Ohio Pawpaw Festival, through the help of a grant from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE), he has begun research on composting black walnut hulls for his SARE project “Black Walnut Hulls: Turning Trash into Treasure” trying to discover how useful they can be in compost, despite their bad rap.

Iowa Farmers Utilize Alternative Crop to Develop New Opportunities for Small Family Farms

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Missouri Valley, IA, Vaughn and Cindy Pittz have been developing the opportunity for small family farms to utilize the aronia berry as a sustainable organic alternative crop at Sawmill Hollow Organic Farms, located 6 miles north of Missouri Valley, Iowa in Harrison County.

Wisconsin chicken hatchers receive SARE Grant for unique breed hatching

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Despite the cold Wisconsin winters, Julie Maro and her husband recently were able to establish a small hatchery in Western Wisconsin, hatching a unique breed of chicken that comes from parent stock raised on certified organic feed.  

Michigan Farmer reaches new farming audiences in Community Supported Agriculture

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Jim Sluyter first read about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in a now-defunct magazine called Harrowsmith, soon after the first CSAs were started in the north east part of the United States. Although the concept was immediately appealing for their small homestead farm, Sluyter and his spouse, Jo Meller, hesitated to become involved. 

Indiana Farmer Devises Innovative Field to Market Method for Small Produce Farms

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

After working nights in a factory job, Kevin Cooley is realizing his dream and creating new field to market methods for small produce farms at Cooley Family Farms in Lafayette, IN. 

Indiana Farmers Experiments with Geothermal Climate Controlled Storage Facilities to Lower Utility Costs

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Carthage, IN, Anna and Keith Welch are creating a geothermal model that uses sustainable energy to lower their utility costs for grain storage.  

Kansas Pumpkin patch receives “Extreme Makeover” with funds from SARE

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Just off of Highway 77, running north from El Dorado, Kansas, runs seventy three acres of agritourism property which is a part of Carroll and Becky Walters’ family farm and pumpkin patch, Walters’ Pumpkin Patch. 

Diversity Initiatives Underway

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Funded in 2005 through the Farmer Rancher Grant Program, Pov Huns’ high tunnel project, “Can Screened High Tunnels Extend the Growing Season of Bitter Melon in the Midwest?” (FNC05-551) aimed to determine whether pest control and season extension could make a tropical vegetable such as bitter melon protable by using a high tunnel on his Kansas City farm.

The Nicodemus Homecoming

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Tucked away in the sprawling prairies of Northwestern Kansas is a town not unlike thousands of other rural communities spread across the country. It is a town built on agriculture that has subsisted for over 130 years on the determination of its citizens and their love of the land. The only outward sign that sets this community apart from the other towns around it is that its citizens are predominately African American. They have their roots in the post-Civil War movement which freed millions of individuals from plantation slavery. Their town is called Nicodemus.

Missouri Producer Envisions Future Fiber Fuel Jobs

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

In Kingsville, MO, a perennial and native seed crop producer has been developing and processing energy crops and agricultural residues into biomass engineered fiber fuel, and now he and other producers in MO could help determine the future of cellulosic-based biofuels.

Illinois Researchers Explore Use of Sorghum-Sudangrass In the Battle Against Weeds

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Researchers at the University of Illinois are using sorghum-sudangrass as a summer smother crop in the battle against aggressive perennial weeds.

Fact Sheets Shed Light on North Dakota Riparian Ecosystem

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

A graduate student from North Dakota State University created five extension fact sheets after monitoring and reporting on the riparian ecosystem associated with the Middle Sheyenne River, a perennial stream in eastern North Dakota.

Spirit Car

Type: North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product

Spirit Car is a memoir that blends fiction and carefully researched history. This book retraces Diane Wilson's family’s Dakota heritage across five generations.

The Artisan of Cheese

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Charuth van Beuzekom-Loth grew up in Holland. Her family raised goats and good cheese was plentiful. Eventually, she moved to the United States and years later settled down with her husband on a small farm named Shadowbrook near Lincoln, Nebraska. The transition went along nicely except for one thing. The cheese just wasn’t the same.

“I guess I’d always had a dream of doing some kind of a cheese making venture,” said van Beuzekom-Loth. “I love the cheeses in Holland. I never was very satisfied with the cheese that I could buy here unless it came from Europe.”

Multi-Species Pasture Stacking Systems

Type: North Central SARE From the Field Profile

Down a winding country road in Garnett, Kansas stands the Bauman farm, where agriculture is a family affair. Upon purchasing the farm in 2001, the family’s first farm venture was to raise pastured chickens and livestock. Today, the Baumans sell about 7,000 broiler chickens each year and an average 350 dozen eggs a week.

With the help of a grant from the NCRSARE Farmer Rancher grant program, the Baumans experimented with pasturing different species of animals in the same area. With the “pasture stacking” project, the family increased their broiler chickens’ average weight by 50 percent.

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