NCR-SARE Announces 2022 Youth Educator Grants 

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for the Youth Educator competitive grant program. For 2022, NCR-SARE awarded more than $100,000 to 18 projects. Youth Educator grants support educators who teach youth about sustainable agriculture practices and careers.

Those selected to receive funding include (in alphabetical order, by state):Erika Allen with Urban Growers Collective in Chicago, IL was awarded $4,000 for the project, “Urban Growers Collective: Youth Corps Teen Education and Employment.”Ellen Burns with Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, IL was awarded $4,605 for the project, “Rooted in the Community: Sustainable Ag Youth Summer Camp.”Taylor Zurliene with Wesclin High School in Trenton, IL was awarded $5,776 for the project, “Using Raspberry Pi Technology to Remote Monitor and Control Hydroponic Systems.”Victoria Beaty with Growing Places Indy in Indianapolis, IN was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Young Grow Getters.”Andrea Crawford with El Campito Child Development Center in South Bend, IN was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Migrant Summer School Program.”Danielle Guerin with Soul Food Project in Indianapolis, IN was awarded $4,237 for the project, “Youth Grow Indy Programming.”Sydney Hale with Greenbush Education Service Center in Girard, KS was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Aeroponics and Career Education.”Marci Heulitt with Riverview Community School District in Riverview, MI was awarded $5,190 for the project, “Riverview Community School District Sustainable Urban Agriculture Program.”Gail Holman with Come and See Farm in Berrien Springs, MI was awarded $5,488 for the project, “Bridgman Elementary School Garden Club Leader in Training Program.”Kelsi Smith with Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing, MI was awarded $5,815 for the project, “Wholesale Market Experience with Herbal Teas.”Emily Staugaitis with Bandhu Gardens in Detroit, MI was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Community Food System Summer Apprenticeship.”Lynn Kotrba with Harvest Hope Farm in Moorhead, MN was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Harvesting Hope for Others Farm Camp for Kids 2022.”Julie Rappaport with SLP SEEDS (aka Seeds Feeds) in St. Louis Park, MN was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Seeds Feeds Apprentices Lead Farm Club and Farm Camp for Elementary and Middle School Youth.”Rachel Levi with EarthDance in Ferguson, MO was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Agri-Culinary Project.”Erica Williams with A Red Circle in Saint Louis, MO was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Food and Justice Fellowship.”Thomas Crain with Shanti Community Farms in Akron, OH was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Urban Farm for Akron-area Immigrant Youth and Their Families.”Suzanne Slavens with Elder Tree in Dayton, OH was awarded $5,996 for the project, “Farming The Forest: Empowering Youth to Nourish our Community Through Hands-On Agroforestry.”Vince Hucek with Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School in Wauwatosa, WI was awarded $6,000 for the project, “Aquaponics for Hyperlocal Food.”Read descriptions of these projects online at
The focus for each of the six NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding is 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, agribusiness and nonprofits.
Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming and ranching 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.

Learn More About NCR-SARE’S Youth Educator Grants

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