North Dakota 2019-20 SARE state plan of work

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $130,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: North Dakota State University
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
State Coordinators:
Dr. Karl Hoppe
North Dakota State Univerity CREC
Dr. Clair Keene
North Dakota State University
Bill Hodous
North Dakota State University


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, free-range, grazing management, grazing - multispecies, meat processing, processing regulations, rangeland/pasture management, stockpiled forages, watering systems, winter forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage, continuous cropping, cover crops, crop improvement and selection, cropping systems, crop rotation, double cropping, high tunnels or hoop houses, no-till, nurseries, organic fertilizers, relay cropping, silvopasture
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, study circle, technical assistance, workshop, youth education
  • Energy: byproduct utilization, energy conservation/efficiency
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, farm-to-institution, farm-to-restaurant, farmers' markets/farm stands, farm succession, financial management, labor/employment, market study, risk management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, carbon sequestration, riparian buffers, strip cropping, wetlands
  • Pest Management: biological control, competition, compost extracts, disease vectors, economic threshold, mulches - general, mulches - killed, mulches - living, mulching - vegetative, mulching - plastic
  • Production Systems: dryland farming, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: composting, green manures, nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, food hubs, leadership development, local and regional food systems, partnerships, quality of life, sustainability measures, urban/rural integration

    Proposal abstract:

    North Dakota SARE Professional Development Program continues to expand its development of partnerships with the non- governmental organizations, Tribal colleges, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Soil Conservation Districts. ND SARE provides a close relationship with the university outreach through educating and collaborating with NDSU Extension educators. The greatest successes for the ND SARE PDP in North Dakota have been with educators working with NGOs and NDSU. Limited success has occurred with Tribal College outreach programs due to turn over in tribal leadership but efforts to seek partners and expanded outreach will continue. Partnerships will continue with Soil Conservation Districts and the Natural Resource Conservation Service which have resulted in several successful projects. Extension in North Dakota continues to be county-based and regionally supported with Research Extension Centers and state faculty at NDSU Fargo Campus. Extension activities at the 1994 Land grant Tribal colleges in North Dakota are encouraged and will be expanded though the addition of Co-Coordinator focusing on Tribal interaction. NDSU continues to be a strong supporter of the SARE program and sustainable agriculture across departments and research extension centers. While NDSU doesn’t have specific state funding for sustainable agriculture education and outreach, NDSU does have faculty who conduct research on soil health, organic agriculture and livestock/environmental stewardship.

    The transition in the ND SARE PDP program to the appointment of Co-Coordinators to lead the project continues to work well. More outreach, enhanced communication, and an increase in funded professional development program projects have occurred with the change to three co-coordinators. These co-coordinators are based in a county office (1) and regionally at Research Extension Centers (2).

    The goals and objectives of the program have not changed. ND SARE PDP continues to enhance sustainable agriculture education in the state and increase the knowledge base of educators and clientele.

    The four initiatives proposed in this professional development plan include the regional Beginning Farmers and Ranchers initiative, three initiatives that build on previous PDP efforts with revisions identified by the ND SARE advisory board. Within each initiative there is an objective to further involve and build our relationship with the ND tribal colleges and youth. The broad objective for SARE PDP in North Dakota remains supporting sustainable agriculture via well trained agricultural educators.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Initiatives for 2019-2020

    1) Soil Health, Cover Crops, and Water Quality

    · The NDSU soil health team is creating a variety of learning experience for farmers to improve

    saline and sodic soils and advance the concept of improved soil health leads to improved

    water quality. This team addresses research and educational issues related to soil health

    and underlying water quality issues in ND. ND SARE will cooperate with the team to support

    their efforts that meet our goals and support funds with professional development projects.

    · Outcomes will include increased knowledge about soil health and improving water quality

    including: use of cover crops to enhance soil health, saline soil management and general soil

    health management aspects and effects on water quality. Tours of cover crop plantings and

    outreach meetings will be provided to visually share the effects of cover crops. Café

    meetings will be used to expand the soil heath discussion among farmers to advance new

    ideas in soil health and water quality. Forty farmers and 16 extension and NRCS personnel

    will be trained with a 40 % increase in knowledge of cover crop and soil health.

    · The objectives and goal of this initiative also include a proactive approach to involve tribal

    college educators throughout the project.


    · Evaluation of these outcomes will be via NCR SARE PDP evaluation forms to determine

    changes in program delivery and new collaborations.

    · Travel and mini grant support for NDSU/tribal educators, 319 water quality coordinators and

    farmers ($5000 per year * 2 years) is requested to make possible their participation in soil

    health and water quality workshops held throughout the state and in national trainings. The

    State co-Coordinators will provide SARE printed materials for support.


    2) Local Agriculture serving Diverse Communities and Meeting Nutritional Needs

    · The North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association meets annually and conducts

    outreach efforts to the public. The State Co-Coordinators will help facilitate these efforts

    when appropriate.

    · Short term outcomes will include increased knowledge about small farms-local foods and

    scaling up initiatives by the advancing the Local Foods effort (15 educators) and thirty nonteam

    educators. We anticipate increased delivery of local foods programming by the

    educators involved as well as collaborative efforts to find funds for additional research and

    outreach to support scaling up initiatives.

    · Efforts to increase partnership with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Local

    Foods program to enhance outreach and education in limited access areas.

    · This initiative also includes a proactive approach to involve tribal college educators

    throughout the project. Tribal youth and college students will participate in gardening

    workshops and then grow food locally at home or school. They will expose 30 tribal

    members to opportunities for locally growing food.

    · Evaluation of these outcomes will be via NCR SARE PDP evaluation forms to determine

    changes in program delivery and any new collaboration.

    · $500 for teleconference expenses are requested. Other Extension, Tribal College, and

    NGO funds will be needed for staff time and travel. State Coordinator time will also be used

    for facilitation. Travel and mini grant support ($5000 per year * 2 years) for educators to

    attend training events will be spent from existing and requested ND SARE funds.


    3) Integrated Production Systems - Livestock and Crops

    · Farmers markets are finding a demand for locally sourced meat and crops. While limits on

    processing facilities impede growth of the market, ND SARE will provide information on

    developing local markets. Market support will be addressed with collaboration from the ND

    Department of Agriculture.

    · Outcomes will include increasing knowledge about North Dakota livestock marketing,

    providing educational support for raising livestock and poultry with a local food and

    sustainable emphasis, and working with Food coops and Food Hubs to increase ND meat in

    their markets. Develop trainings and activities showing benefits from integrating livestock

    with crops including organic production. Twenty farmers and 12 extension personnel will

    be trained with a 60% increase in knowledge of synergies from integrating crops and

    livestock. Cover crops and grazing mentoring networks will be used to advance sustainable

    production through synergies of crops and livestock.

    · The initiative will seek opportunity to work with and provide education and experiences to

    tribal college educators and youth about sustainable livestock production and purveying.

    · The interaction of soil health, cover crops and livestock will be demonstrated through on

    farm projects. Field days will be hosted by NDSU extension agents to teach sustainability

    with a soil and livestock aspect.


    · Evaluation of these outcomes will be via NCR SARE PDP evaluations. Evaluations will also

    identify strengths and weaknesses in program delivery and collaborations.

    · Travel and mini grant support for NDSU/tribal educators and farmers ($5000 per year * 2

    years) is requested for providing educational programs about sustainability with livestock for

    meat production and crop production integration.


    4) Beginning Farmers and Ranchers -- regional training initiative

    · Several representatives from North Dakota will participate in a regional professional

    development event organized by NCR-SARE on beginning farmers and ranchers, to be

    offered during calendar year 2019. Educators who are given support from our state SARE

    funds to travel to this regional training will provide educational programming to other

    educators and/or beginning farmers and ranchers. This will include workshops, study

    tours, webinars, or other educational programming. During the two-year plan of work

    period, we will also offer additional SARE-funded travel scholarships, and where

    appropriate, mini-grant support to further educational programming that increases the

    sustainability and success of beginning farmers and ranchers.

    · Short term outcomes will include increased knowledge about beginning farmer and

    rancher issues/problems and how to overcome these issues/problems with sustainable

    practices. These outcomes will be reached through 2 seminars to be conducted in this

    topic area within NDSU Extension programming for 2019-20. Educators will reach out to

    Tribal entities involving beginning farmers and ranchers and identify opportunities for


    · Increase profitability and knowledge of beginning farmers and ranchers. Program

    knowledge increase by 80% in 50 participants.

    · Evaluation of these outcomes will be via surveys held at workshops and via follow-up


    · Travel and mini grant support ($6486 per year * 2 years) will be used for the cost of meeting

    room expense, meeting material expense, food and travel, lodging and per diem for

    educators to participate in workshops.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.