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NEWS: 1997 Awards Announced

NOTE TO EDITORS: A list of awards organized by state and territory follows
the end of this press release.

Kristen Kelleher, communications specialist
(916) 752-5987; kkelleher@ucdavis.edu


Nearly two million dollars worth of competitive grants in 1997 cap off ten
years of sustainable agriculture research and education efforts in the
Western U.S.

        Logan, UT -- The tenth round of competitive grant awards has been
announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Region
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, SARE, program. Approaching
its 10th anniversary in 1998, Western SARE will support research, education
and professional development projects in 14 western states and Pacific
Island Territories this year.

        After final contract negotiations, about $1.9 million in
competitive awards will be disbursed to universities, farmers and ranchers
and organizations in the Western U.S. to further knowledge and adoption of
sustainable agriculture.

        "The majority of grant work focuses on either livestock or range
topics, or a variety of high-value integrated cropping systems," says Phil
Rasmussen, regional coordinator of Western SARE and a soil scientist at
Utah State University.

        "The rest expand knowledge of soil quality and conservation,
sustainable agriculture youth education and consumer marketing, alternative
crops, pest control, agroforestry, wetlands use, tropical agriculture or
new cropping techniques for Navajos."

        Region-wide, about $1.3 million was awarded to sustainable
agriculture and pollution prevention research projects; nearly $425,000 was
allocated to professional education efforts for extension and other
agricultural personnel; and about $103,000 was split among 29 farmer- and
rancher-initiated projects in the Western U.S.

        In addition, another $161,500 will be split among state Cooperative
Extension programs in the west to further state-level activities for
sustainable agriculture professional development.

        Grant applicants submitted project proposals that were ranked on
their merit and potential for achievement. Reviewers included scientists,
extension professionals, producers, and public and private sector
representatives from all areas of the western region. At least half of the
review panels for the farmer/rancher research grants were area producers.

        Selections were made by the regional Administrative Council and
will be submitted to the USDA for final approval after contract
negotiations are completed.

        The competitive research grants portion of SARE (which includes a
joint USDA / U.S. EPA effort, called Agriculture in Concert with the
Environment, ACE) has been funded since 1988. The professional development
program (or Chapter 3) received funding for the first time in 1994. In
1995, a grants program for farmers and ranchers was launched to test their
"in the field" questions about sustainable practices and issues.

        Since 1988 through federal fiscal 1997, the U.S. Congress has
allocated more than $80.7 million to the SARE effort; Western SARE has
received $18.3 million in funds.

        The SARE program, which was authorized by Congress in the 1990 and
1996 Farm Bills, is managed regionally by four councils: Western, North
Central, Northeast and Southern United States. These committees of
scientists, producers and administrators represent a variety of interests
and provide local leadership to research and training efforts. Regional
councils operate in cooperation with the USDA SARE office and the
Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

        Utah State University is host to the SARE program in the western
region, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii,
Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and
the Island Protectorates of American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia and the
Northern Mariana Islands.

        The next grants cycle (which concludes in 1998) began with the
release of a call for research, education and professional development
proposals in July 1997. The next call for research projects directed by
producers or producer groups will be released in November 1997. Potential
grant applicants should call the host office at (801) 797-2257 to get on
the mailing list for these calls for proposals.

        Calls for proposals and other news and information are also
available on-line via the Western SARE's web site at


State-by-State or Island Territory

Included in this list are: State / Grant Recipient / Award $$$ / Subject of

Michael T. Panciera, University of Alaska, $100,000.00,  No-Till; Soil
David C. Smith, producer,  $5,000.00, Ginseng Production
 Total Funding for Alaska:       $105,000.00

Wayne A. Frank, American Samoa Community College, $91,850.00, Sustainable
Food Production
Caroline Sinavaiana, American Samoa Comm. Coll.*,  $15,510.00, Medicinal
Herbs, Plants*
Malo Paleso'o, producer, $2,315.00,  Agroforestry
Total Funding for American Samoa:       $109,675.00

Edward P. Glenn, University of Arizona, $95,201.00, Aquaculture, Edible Red
Total Funding for Arizona: $95,201.00

John T. Trumble, University of California, Riverside, $100,000.00, Pest
Control in Celery
Jeff Mitchell, University of California, Davis, $41,604.00, Nutrient
Dynamics in Cover Crops
Kent M. Daane, University of California, Berkeley, $79,858.00,
Pest-Resistant Crops,Sugarbeets
Larry Galper, producer, $5,000.00, Sustainable Strawberry Production
Jim Wackerman, producer, $3,248.00, Confinement vs. Pasture, Dairy
Dave Renner, producer, $5,000.00, Composting Demonstration
Willis Thompson, producer, $5,000.00, Biocontrol with Pheromones
David Pratt, University of California* , $29,000.00, Sustainable Dairy,
Total Funding for California:   $268,710.00

Trent Taylor, producer, $2,500.00, Specialty Crops
Douglas B. Wiley, producer, $1,825.00, Perrenial Grasses
Pete Mattics, producer,  $2,500.00, Pasture Fryer Chickens
Steve Carcaterra, Colorado State University*, $4,400.00, Community-Supported Ag*
Total Funding for Colorado:     $11,225.00

Felix Quan, producer, $4,300.00, Cucumber Production
Total Funding for Guam: $4,300.00

Hawaii  John Mc Hugh, Waikele Farms, Inc.,  $21,900.00, Tomatoes and Cucumbers
Paul D. Acciavatti, producer, $3,500.00, Weed Control Alternatives
Jon Biloon, producer, $5,000.00, Sustainable Papayas
Kathleen Delate, Common Heritage*, $64,295.00, Pacific Islands Training*
Total Funding for Hawaii:       $94,695.00

Patrick A. Momont, University of Idaho  $105,400.00, Beef Cattle, Riparian
Jay Black, producer, $5,000.00, Range Systems
Mark Pratt, producer, $5,000.00, Controlled Grazing
Robert Rynk, University of Idaho*, $145,275.00, Composting Education*
Christina Crawford, producer, $3,500.00, Non-Irrigated Alfalfa
Total Funding for Idaho:        $264,175.00

Montana Andrew W. Lenssen, Montana State University, $150,964.00, Pest
Control in Wheat Systems
Nancy Matheson, Alternative Energy Res. Org.*, $100,000.00, Youth Education*
Total Funding for Montana:      $250,964.00

Tom Siebel, producer, $4,250.00 , Value-Added Wheat
Matt Schneberger, producer,  $3,500.00, Gopher Control by Grazing
Total Funding for New Mexico:   $7,750.00

Karen Murphy, NW Coalition for Alt. To Pesticides, $35,000.00, Sustainable
Potato Production
Kathleen Panner, producer, $3,500.00, Pasture "Foxtail" Control
Tim Grant, producer, $2,800.00, Douglas Fir Production
Ann R. Snyder, producer, $3,500.00, Goats to Control Brush
Gary Shull, producer, $3,200.00, Wetlands for Waste Water
George Ing, producer, $5,000.00, Biocontrol for Pear Pests
David Hannaway, Oregon State University*, $65,000.00, Grazing Management*
Total Funding for Oregon:       $118,000.00

Michael E. Noel, producer, $2,900.00, Increased Forage Production
Mark Maryboy, producer, $4,300.00, Alt Cropping on Navajo Resv.
Total Funding for Utah:         $7,200.00

Shiou Kuo, Washington State University,  $118,000.00, Cover Crops
Tim Fiez, Washington State University, $125,842.00, No-Till and Conserv. Farming
L. Michael Butler, Washington State University,  $113,000.00 , Ag On the
Urban Edge
Terry Swagerty, producer, $2,043.00, Rotational Grazing
R.D. Northcraft, producer,  $2,000.00, Bamboo, Alternative Crop
Brain Cieslar, producer, $1,850.00, Spider Mite Control
David Carlton, producer, $3,000.00, Dryland Corn Production
Therese Critchley, producer, $2,500.00, Harvest Labor Reduction
Total Funding for Washington:   $368,235.00

David Koch, University of Wyoming, $113,184.00, Pest-Resistant Crops/Sugarbeets
Total Funding for Wyoming:      $113,184.00

* These projects have a specific goal to provide professional development
opportunities for Extension and Natural Resources Conservation Service
personnel, and other agricultural professionals.

Kristen Kelleher
Senior Public Information Rep/ Communications Specialist
USDA Western Region SARE
University of California
(916) 752-5987
(916) 754-8550