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The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) currently has open application windows for the following grant programs:

  • the Research and Education Grant Program, due on October 5, 2023
  • the Partnership Grant Program due on October 19, 2023,
  • the Youth Educator Grant Program due on November 9, 2023, and
  • the Farmer Rancher Grant Program due on December 7, 2023.

Every grant program is tailored to cater to distinct groups and adheres to varying prerequisites. However, the overarching purpose of these grants remains consistent – to bolster research and/or education initiatives that propel the ecological, financial, and societal sustainability of agriculture within the Midwest region.

Research and Education grants are typically awarded to university researchers or non-governmental organizations for major research or education projects. While they offer up to $250,000 per grant, they are the most difficult SARE grants to get. Partnership grants offer up to $50,000 for research or education collaborations between organizations and three or more farms. And Youth Educator grants offer up to $6,000 for projects to develop sustainable agriculture education for youth from elementary school through high school. NCR-SARE also has two other grant programs for which the application window is in late winter – a Graduate Student Grant and a Professional Development Grant. See for more information on all of these grant programs.

Sourced from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has confirmed several new spotted lanternfly (SLF) infestations across the state, including Columbus and Toledo.

In 2021, ODA designated the spotted lanternfly as a destructive plant pest and established regulations aimed at reducing the risk of spread. As a result of new detections, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Mahoning, and Muskingum counties will be added to the spotted lanternfly regulated area. In regulated areas, spotted lanternfly infestations have been confirmed and inspections are increased. Full article.

The Ohio State University is hiring an Urban Agriculture Specialist. This 12-month faculty member will lead a statewide Urban Agriculture team of faculty, staff, and students. They will lead urban ag system curriculum development and conduct research in collaboration with other CFAES urban-focused faculty members. They will serve as a Principal Investigator, managing grant funding, project leadership, and partner development. As leader of a five-year project funded Cooperative Agreement with USDA FSA, they will supervise a new Community Outreach Coordinator, based in the Cleveland area, and collaborate with diverse local teams and stakeholders in Ohio's metropolitan areas. With 100% Extension appointment, they will explore emerging opportunities linking Extension, teaching, and research to advance Ohio's urban agriculture and food system community. Master's degree required, doctoral degree preferred. Extension-outreach experience, grant-management skills, and leadership expertise are also required. For more information, see the posted job listing.

Inquiries about the position are welcomed and may be addressed to the Urban Agriculture Specialist, Extension Search Committee at

A recent Purdue Extension publication summarizes opportunities and challenges for Indiana’s urban agriculturalists. The data is part of an urban agriculture needs assessment conducted by Purdue Extension. The bulletin presents the findings of the survey areas which sought to capture greater insight into urban ag production practices, the most pressing challenges facing urban ag, the issue areas producers are most interested in learning about, and where they prefer to go to gain new information to overcome their challenges. Learn more.

There is a new pilot program from the USDA and farmers across the United States can now accept SNAP/EBT payments online through GrownBy. Share with your community folks. They can start the process or learn more by completing this survey:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages urban producers, innovative producers and other stakeholders to submit comments for and virtually attend a public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Committee) on August 1, 2023.

The Committee is part of USDA’s efforts to support urban and innovative agriculture, creating a network for feedback. Members include agricultural producers and representatives from the areas of higher education or extension programs, non-profits, business and economic development, supply chains and financing. The committee last met in April 2023.

About the Meeting

Topics for the upcoming meeting will include addressing public comments and discussing the following recommended topics:

  • Food waste prevention and food recovery
  • Surplus food recovery
  • Compostable food packing standards

The Committee will deliberate and vote on proposed recommendations and address public comments during the meeting. USDA will share the agenda between 24 to 48 hours prior to the meeting on

The virtual meeting runs from 3-6 p.m. ET on August 1, 2023. To attend virtually, register by August 1 on the Committee’s webpage.

Learn more.

Sourced from Morning Ag Clips.

The Building an Entrepreneur-Friendly Community program provides the resources, training, and tools to develop community capacity to better understand and support the local entrepreneurial economy. Targeted for community leaders and elected officials, the customized community curriculum is designed to help local leaders understand the contribution of entrepreneurs to their local economy and jobs. While gaining the information and tools to develop a plan of action to grow and sustain local business growth, the participants will also learn strategies to help local leaders position their community as an environment that nurtures and supports entrepreneurial success. Learn more.

OSU Extension Employees Attend and Present at the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) North Central Region ConferenceNUEL NC Banner

Six Ohio State University employees recently attended and presented at the 2023 North Central Region Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. The goal of the conference was to offer facilitated purposeful interaction to allow participants to learn and connect with other urban Extension professionals. During breakout sessions, facilitators introduced issues and engaged with the audience in authentic participatory experiences to share ideas and identify solutions.

The following are take-aways from those in attendance.

Solomon Garner’s Reflection

What I enjoyed about the regional NUEL conference is that allowed for intentional connections and supportive relationships to develop. Because it’s smaller than the national NUEL conference, there’s a bit more opportunity to connect with Extension peers through presentations and engagement.Solomon Garner with his visual session notes

Self-care is a topic that is often discussed in Extension yet becomes the forgotten step-child, and there’s no room or changes to the system that allows for self-care to fully exist. At this conference, self-care was a session and not only were we able to talk about self-care and share tips amongst each other, we were provided with resources to encourage engagement with self-care. 

Julie Fox’s Reflection

In addition to the formal and informal experiences I enjoyed with Ohio State colleagues at the conference, I also attended the NUEL Steering Committee meeting earlier that week. Visiting with this leadership group provided opportunities to continue aligning Ohio with national priorities and innovating together to advance the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension.

Tim McDermott’s ReflectionTim McDermott at a podium with a screen PowerPoint screen behind him.

At the conference I enjoyed meeting new people. I sat at tables with strangers each time and met new people from Purdue and Illinois. I really enjoyed the luncheon speaker on day one. We both use storytelling a great deal in our jobs, and I learned from her a couple of ways to improve my storytelling to engage my stakeholders.

Megan Arnold’s Reflection

I really enjoyed being with colleagues solely focused on urban Extension and sharing ideas about how we can serve under-represented populations in urban communities. An impactful takeaway for me was that we can champion both urban Extension and more traditional Extension programming simultaneously – it is not a zero sum game where focus on one takes away from the other. I also really enjoyed presenting with Patrice, Julie, and Solomon about the future of Urban Extension. We had a great group of engaged participants who were willing to think outside the box with us.

Patrice Powers-Barker’s Reflection

Both the keynote speakers, Dr. Danielle Y. Hairston Green (University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension) on Leaping and Soaring: The Impact of a Single Story and Dr. Quentin Tylor, director of Michigan State Extension on Leaning into Your Purpose used their time to share about personal and professional adversity and success. Extension Professionals from University of Illinois Extension lead participants through a sample of exercises in Putting “Self” Back into Self-Care.

In additional to the introspective conference angle, there was time to network and excellent sessions on outreach, determining the best analytical frameworks for our work, how to best partner with outside organizations and inspiring ignite talks on fun programming. Dr Tylor describes Extension as a special place that takes on the fabric of the community. This conference offered me time to reflect on the fabric of my urban community and to learn from others in neighboring states.

OSU Extension Presentations

The presentations offered by Ohio colleagues were Megan Arnold and Patrice Powers-Barker, Leaning the Lingo: What “Social Determinants of Health” Mean for OSU Extension; Tim McDermott, Maximizing Urban Engagement by Telling Our Story Through Partnership Marketing; and Julie Fox, Megan Arnold, Patrice Powers-Barker, and Solomon Garner, Urban Extension Unscripted, using deliberate improv as a tool for innovation and problem solving.

Want to Know More?

If you would like to learn more about any of the OSU Extension topics presented, please contact the presenters. Vic Fresh from OSU Extension was also in attendance. Complete NUEL-NC Conference information can be found here.

Developing Urban Food Systems for Sustainable and Resilient Communities

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences will host the Urban Food Systems Symposium June 11-13, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. The symposium brings together 300-400 national and international urban food system professionals. The academic and research-oriented professionals will share and gain knowledge on how to build coalitions to adapt to a changing world and how urban food systems contribute to these solutions. Watch this site for details -

Join the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) for its 2023 annual conference — Resilient Campuses. Resilient Cities. — in Washington, D.C., October 15-18. Presenters and attendees will critically examine how our campuses and cities embrace shared understandings and a commitment to fostering greater resilience across themes important to the future of higher education. Ohio State is a member of CUMU. Learn more and register.