|Carroll Chancellor received a sustainable agriculture grant to convert a pecan harvester to a walnut harvester. Earl Williams demonstrates the machine's potential on his farm during a field day he held jointly with Chancellor.|
Projects involving trees that have received funding include: using sheep to control weeds in Christmas tree plantings, converting a pecan picker into a reasonably-priced walnut picker, using mulches for weed control around nut trees, and growing ginseng under black walnuts.
Grants encourage producers to reduce their dependence on non-renewable resources such as petroleum and minerals, and promote the preservation of natural resources such as soil, water and air. They help farmers experiment with techniques that will make their farms ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible. The Demonstration Award Program is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and administered through the Sustainable Agriculture Extension Program of the University of Missouri and Lincoln University. This year's program will fund up to 23 farmers with grants of $3,000 each. The Demonstration Award Program began in 1995 with funding from the Missouri Legislature. Awards for 2002 will be announced in January.
To apply, farmers must come up with a sustainable agriculture idea that they want to try out on their farm. They must fill out an application form and get a letter of support from an Extension agent or a staff member from another agency or non-profit organization. Applications with the new funding rate for 2002 are available at University Outreach and Extension centers, on the Sustainable Agriculture Web site: http://agebb.missouri.edu/sustain/ or by writing or calling:
Missouri Department of Agriculture
Plant Industries Division
P.O. Box 630
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0630
Phone: (573) 522-8616 or