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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,” […]

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New SARE Bulletin: Transitioning to Organic Production

Since the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act passed, the market for organic products has steadily risen. In 2020, organic sales skyrocketed to an all-time high, motivating many farmers to consider transitioning their farms to organic production. While organic production can help farmers gain access to new markets, improve soil and increase profits, the transition process […]

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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 […]

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Reasons to Like Wine

Reasons to like wine Number 462: It can be good for New Mexico’s native bees and other pollinators. Even though grapevines are largely self pollinating and don’t need insects like bees or butterflies to produce fruit, vineyards themselves can provide habitat for native pollinators and other insect species, benefiting both the grower and the environment. […]

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Cheatgrass-Eating Sheep

Wildfires in the West are inevitable and part of a natural, necessary ecological cycle, but invasive grasses like cheatgrass can make fires burn hotter, spread farther and cause more destruction. So, across the West, researchers, range managers, cattle ranchers and others are looking for ways to economically control cheatgrass and other invasive grasses on millions […]

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In Northern Colorado, Building Soil Takes Time

For anyone focused on building or rebuilding healthy soils, it’s worth remembering that soil took eons to develop initially. Improving it doesn’t happen overnight. That’s a lesson farmers and ranchers are learning in northern Colorado through a Citizen Science Soil Health Project funded by Western SARE. The three-year, three-county project provides free soil testing and […]

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Graduate Student Projects Funded for 2022

Western SARE’s Administrative Council recently approved funding of $323,118 for 13 Graduate Student Research and Education projects.  The projects are located in eight Western states (Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming). The Graduate Student Research & Education Program involves Master’s or Ph.D. students partnering with producers on innovative research and outreach on […]

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Tribute to Mark Frasier: Western Sustainability Pioneer Award

Citing his career-long record in sustainable, holistic range management and his leadership for the Western SARE program, the organization’s leaders recently presented the 3rd Annual Western Sustainability Pioneer Award to Mark Frasier, CEO of his family’s cattle ranch in Eastern Colorado. As one nominator noted, “Mark’s contribution and impact to sustainability in the West has […]

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Recently Funded Projects

The Western SARE Administrative Council approved funding for 59 projects during the March 2022 meeting. These 59 projects totaled $6,577,150 in funding for five programs: Research and Education, Farmer-Rancher, Professional + Producer, Professional Development Program, and Research to Grassroots. Projects were funded in 12 states and protectorates. Example topic areas include a beginning dry farm […]

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Needs Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Practices in the Western U.S.

Western SARE has always strived to meet the needs of our region’s agricultural communities. Toward that end, we recently funded a needs assessment to better understand information gaps and future directions for research and outreach efforts related to sustainable agriculture in our region. The study also aimed to understand the regional differences that may exist […]