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Joan Nelson of Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing, MI, has recently been recommended to receive a $2,000 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) for the project, "Flowers for Food and Thought."
"We will build and maintain a permaculture-style garden bed dedicated solely to edible flowers, in order to increase knowledge of unique food sources, provide pollinator habitat and forage, and expand food access to Edible Park, our existing community-shared garden," said Nelson.
 Peggy Vaughn-Payne of NorthWest Initiative in Lansing, MI, has recently been recommended to receive a $2,000 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) for the project, "Grow Healthy, Lansing! Nutrition Education in the Edible Schoolyard."
"We maintain gardens at four elementary schools which support and provide settings for our monthly in-class lesson. We offer weekly after-school and summer garden clubs and outreach to families in our schools and neighborhoods in order to support and develop local food systems," said Vaughn-Payne.
Tommy McDoniel of Asbury Community Development Corporation in Flint, MI, has recently been recommended to receive a $2,000 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) for the project, "Urban Farming as a Sustainable Business."
"Our project will establish a hands-on sustainable urban farming training program for low-income, disadvantaged community youth to introduce urban farming as a career option," said McDoniel.
The grants were awarded as part of NCR-SARE's Youth Educator Program, which supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth.
The focus for each of the NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, the project's relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE's goals, among other factors specific to each grant program.
NCR-SARE's Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. The AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofits.
Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.

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