Fischer receives sustainable agriculture grant

By Herald Staff

BIRDSEYE — Dave Fischer at Fischer Farms in Birdseye has recently been awarded a $9,000 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program for the project "Conversion of Row Crop Acreage to Beef Cattle Pasture Using Sorghum-Sudangrass."

"We plan to transition to regenerative agriculture practices with the intent of improving soil health, increasing forage yields, and reducing operational expenses," Fischer said. "Row crop acreage will be converted to beef cattle pasture of sorghum-sudangrass seed mix that will be rotationally grazed."

This grant was awarded as part of NCR-SARE's Farmer Rancher Grant Program, which is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration and education projects.

The focus for each of the NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, the project's relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE's goals, among other factors specific to each grant program.

NCR-SARE's Administrative Council members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. The AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofits.

Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.

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