News from the West

Getting the Diagnosis Right: Guam Workshop Focuses on Foliar Fungal Diseases

In farming, as in medicine, an accurate diagnosis is critical. For a doctor to prescribe the correct treatment, they need to know the specific disease causing a patient’s symptoms. The same is true for growers. When they see disease symptoms in a field, they need to know the underlying cause in order to correctly treat […]

Welcome to Western SARE Program Manager

Western SARE welcomes Cayley Eller as Program Manager for the Farmer/Rancher grant program.  Joining us as of August 2, Cayley oversees the application, awarding, and reporting requirements for the Farmer/Rancher program. She also supports applicants in the submission process, organizes and facilitates technical review panels, and assists with other programs where needed. She is excited […]

Pasture Calendars Help Preserve Rangeland

Forages – a diverse group of plants providing both livestock feed and important bio-products – are critical for the success of Western agriculture. That’s why Washington State University’s Dr. Steve Fransen helps develop best pasture management practices to benefit the land, environment, animals, and producers’ bottom lines. “I love going out to the field, pulling […]

Highlighting Innovations in Soil Health

On March 8-9, 2021, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) held the first Soil Health Innovations conference. Originally scheduled last year as an in-person conference in Montana, the conference was postponed due to COVID and expanded as a nationwide virtual conference with 675 participants. The live stream event included speakers and panels, as well […]

Can Cover-cropping and Grazing Work with Dryland Grain Farming?

Farmers know that planting one crop year after year is asking for trouble. It depletes the soil and leads to increased insect, weed and disease pressures. But in certain places, it’s also been the major agricultural system for decades. In north-central Washington, along the Canadian border, dryland wheat production has been the dominate production system […]

Western SARE Announces 2021 Funding

As part of its 2021 grant awards, the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) approved almost $5.5 million for 50 projects in 11 Western states. Information and contact information can be found by following the project number link. Title Grant Program Project Number Funds State Natural Resource Conservation Professional Development Project PDP WPDP21-007 […]

Wireworms in Western Washington

Christine Langley has successfully run Lopez Harvest organic farm on Lopez Island in Washington state’s famed San Juan Islands for more than two decades. But for most of that, she wasn’t fighting wireworms.  Those showed up about a dozen years ago, and have made her job a lot harder.  “I grow a lot of lettuce […]

Putting the Winter Back in Winter Squash

For growers, it doesn’t matter how much you harvest. What matters is what you sell! A good example of that came out of Oregon recently, but applies broadly. Growers were having trouble producing and storing a crop they for sale in the winter into the early spring. “We heard from farmers that they weren’t making […]

Jenna Meeks Appointed Interim PDP Coordinator

Long-time Western SARE Professional Development Program (PDP) leaders Jim Freeburn and Al Kurki have retired. The Administrative Council (AC) and the University of Wyoming have announced the appointment of Jenna Meeks as Interim PDP Coordinator and the hiring of Sara Trojan as Associate PDP Coordinator. Retirements Jim dedicated 40 years to his work in sustainable […]

Funded Grants on Diverse Ag Topics

Western SARE funding is important for many reasons. It helps researchers develop and test new sustainable farming and ranching techniques. It helps university extension agents and other agricultural professionals get that new knowledge into the hands of producers. And it helps farmers and ranchers conduct their own research on their own land, testing out new […]

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands Face Unique Challenges During the COVID-19 Crisis

The agriculture community in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands is feeling the same impacts from COVID-19 as the mainland. But in addition, the islands face the added challenges of remoteness and having tourism-dependent economies.  The loss of tourism is a huge impact for all of the food system. Restaurants rely on tourists and the local […]

Getting Research Knowledge to Ranchers Quickly

Western SARE’s Research to Grass Roots grants have a simple goal: to get the knowledge gained in recent research into the hands of farmers and ranchers who can use it to improve their practices and profitability. A newly funded Utah project is a perfect example. It looks at the results of four previously funded Western […]

Western Ag’s Creative Strategies During COVID-19 Pandemic

Farmers and ranchers in the West have confronted considerable challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.  They have been dealing with rapidly changing markets, supply chain slowdowns, and shortages. Strongly shifting consumer behaviors and dramatic drops in demand from restaurants and schools required them, as well as farmer organizations, to respond quickly and creatively.  Responding quickly and […]

Dr. Clayton Marlow Named Regional Coordinator

After a comprehensive search, Western SARE and Montana State University announce that Dr. Clayton Marlow has been selected as our Regional Coordinator.  “The AC is pleased with the selection of Dr. Clayton Marlow for the position of Regional Coordinator for the Western SARE program. The AC has worked with Clayton during his tenure as Interim […]

Focus on Getting Research Results Adopted

Over the years, SARE has provided millions of dollars for research into sustainable agriculture practices through competitive awards to university researchers, non-profit organizations, extension agents, and directly to farmers and ranchers.  The grant recipients conduct their research, develops education and outreach activities, and write up their results. SARE publicizes those results, through reports and newsletters […]

Response to COVID-19

Western SARE conducted a survey of state coordinators and grantees about the impact of, and responses to, COVID-19. We gained a lot of insight from our ag community. View responses and data and download full report.

Regenerative Agriculture – The Next Evolution of Sustainable Farming?

Looking through all the projects funded by Western SARE since 1988, you’ll find 173 with the word “sustainable” in the title, including 11 projects funded in 2019. That’s not surprising. What might be surprising is that same 31-year period, there have been only four projects with “regenerative” in their titles – and all four of […]

Turning the Tide on Overfishing

According to Simon Ellis, director of MERIP Micronesia, over-fishing is depleting natural resources in Micronesia and other parts of the Pacific, creating a clear need to develop alternatives for the economy and food security for fishing communities.  Sustainable, capture-based aquaculture and hatchery rearing methods of Rabbitfish hold promise not only for fisheries management and coral […]

En Espanol

Western SARE promueve la protección los recursos naturales y biológicos sobre los cuáles se basa la agricultura, la mejoría de la calidad de vida en comunidades rurales, y el incremento en las ganancias de las operaciones agrícolas, invirtiendo en proyectos innovativos de investigación y educación en agricultura sustentable. Western SARE apoya proyectos generados por productores, […]