Stories & Highlights

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tomatoes in dry fieldwestern.sare.org news rediscovering-dry-farming

Rediscovering Dry Farming

Climate change poses a serious challenge to Western farmers. How do you grow crops profitably when rainfall and drought are becoming so unpredictable and extreme? For many producers, dry farming may offer a way forward. Instead of relying on surface irrigation throughout the summer, dry farmers are finding ways to capture water from winter rains […]

western.sare.org news western-sare-funds-over-7-7-million-in-2024

Western SARE Funds Over $7.7 million in 2024

Western SARE’s Administrative Council has approved $7,765,941 for 82 projects throughout our region.  Projects under seven different programs were funded: “Unlike the larger USDA grants programs, Western SARE provides support for small to moderate sized family farms and ag marketing enterprises, says Regional Coordinator Clayton Marlow. “ A quick glance at the 2025 funded projects […]

western.sare.org news farming-and-food-narrative-project

Farming and Food Narrative Project

Farmers know farming is a complex endeavor with competing demands and economic pressures. The non-farming public thinks farming is hard labor but otherwise simple. Farmers know that crop-destroying pests take the form of insects, diseases, weeds, nematodes, birds and mammals, and that managing pests requires an array of integrated tactics. The non-farming public thinks pests […]

western.sare.org news seeing-western-ag-issues-in-every-grant-proposal

Seeing Western Ag Issues in Every Grant Proposal

The most important function Western SARE performs is providing grant funding to support agriculture and rural communities in the American West. The importance of that financial support – to university researchers, Extension professionals and farmers and ranchers looking to improve their own operations and help their neighbors – cannot be overstated. The numbers bear that […]

ungulateswestern.sare.org news ungulates-hawaiis-hooved-problem

Ungulates: Hawaii’s Hooved Problem

Hooved mammals – ungulates in scientific parlance – aren’t native to the archipelago but have been brought to the islands over the past centuries. Now, population explosions of wild pigs, feral sheep and goats, big-horned mouflon sheep and axis and black-tailed deer are altering ecosystems, affecting fisheries, imperiling agriculture and causing economic harm. “If you […]

dry corn stalkwestern.sare.org news researchers-work-to-develop-test-dry-farm-adapted-corn-varieties

Researchers Work to Develop, Test Dry-Farm-Adapted Corn Varieties

As farmers and agricultural researchers work to adapt to changing climatic conditions, some are looking to future innovations, some are exploring past agricultural practices, and some are doing both. In Western Oregon, a collaborative effort to establish and expand dry farming – growing crops without irrigation – is decidedly in the “doing both” camp. “There […]

Tan rows of Kernza lined up against a clear blue skywestern.sare.org news experimenting-with-kernza

Experimenting with Kernza

While some growers and researchers are experimenting with drought-adapted varieties of existing crops, others are testing more substantial shifts in agricultural practices. One of those shifts is from annual grain crops that have to be replanted every year to perennial grains that produce a crop year after year without replanting. In eastern Wyoming, a Western […]

A table outside filled with various fresh fruits and vegetables in basketswestern.sare.org news switching-to-winter-crops-might-help-farmers-cope-with-warming-world

Switching to Winter Crops Might Help Farmers Cope with Warming World

For people who grow food and cultivate the land, climate change isn’t something experienced though charts, graphs and predictions of foreboding futures. For growers, the threat of a warming world is immediate and increasing. “Climate change is playing out on farms like mine every day, every season and in every extreme weather event,” said Caitlin […]

Western SARE logo with an icon of farm fields and a sun in green and yellowwestern.sare.org news recently-funded-projects

Recently Funded Projects

Western SARE has funded 77 projects for 2023. These 77 projects totaled $7,363,082 in funding for six programs: Research and Education, Farmer-Rancher, Professional + Producer, Professional Development Program, Graduate Student Research & Education, and Research to Grassroots. Projects were funded in 14 states and protectorates. Example topic areas include: Overall, To review summaries of all […]

woman holding oyster mushroomswestern.sare.org news farmers-test-benefits-of-using-hemp-stalks-to-produce-mushrooms

Farmers Test Benefits of Using Hemp Stalks to Produce Mushrooms

When optimists are buried in proverbial lemons, they make lemonade. When the women who own Intentional Growth Farm in Utah had too many hemp stalks, they produced exceptionally large, tasty mushrooms. “We used the hemp stalks as the nutrient source for our oyster mushrooms, and customers said they were the best mushrooms they ever tasted,” […]

the game based around agriculturewestern.sare.org news playing-pest-friends

Playing Pest Friends

At their annual meeting this summer, Western SARE state coordinators came together and played an educational board game about managing pests. Their experience was similar to other groups who indicate that they learn more by doing than listening. Jason Thomas and Grant Loomis, extension educators at the University of Idaho, received a Western SARE grant […]