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Sustainable Agriculture – USDA’s SARE Program


“Sustainable” is a term that has received a lot of attention in the food industry during the past few years.  Even McDonald’s and the “Golden Arches” have a commitment to sustainability.

As farmers and ranchers, we have an inherent focus on sustainability.   We want to hand down the farm or ranch to the next generations.  We desire to leave the farm or ranch in better condition than when we started.


Producers are reviewing a cover crop planting used for building soil health and grazing cattle during the winter.

The three pillars of sustainable agriculture are:  Economics (profitability), Environment (protecting our resources) and Community (keeping our social aspect).  Almost all efforts on sustainability by government, associations, and businesses include these three pillars. 


A young couple explaining their goals for producing hops.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has funded the SARE program for almost 30 years.  SARE stands for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

There is a tremendous amount of information on alternative ideas at The 2015/16 Report from the Field highlights projects where SARE grant funds were used to try new ideas

Besides information, SARE provides grant funds on a competitive basis.  The SARE grant programs can be found at


An excellent meal prepared entirely from locally grown or raised foods – a ‘freshtastic’ experience from the local foods movement.

The USDA - SARE program also has SARE State Coordinators in every state.   North Dakota has two co-coordinators – Bill Hodous (Ramsey County Extension – Devils Lake) and Karl Hoppe (Carrington Research Extension Center)

For more information about SARE, please check out the SARE internet sites listed above or contact Karl or Bill.

Area Extension Specialist – Livestock Systems
Co-Coordinator ND SARE

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