Southern SARE Funds Research for Graduate Students Across the Southeast

August 26, 2021
Clemson University graduate student Jaine Allran harvests bagged peaches at the Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Farm. Photo credit: Candace Pollock-Moore, SSARE

GRIFFIN, Georgia – The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SSARE) has announced the funded projects for the 2021 Graduate Student Grants Program.

The SSARE Administrative Council selected 19 projects which received $302,661 in funding. The Graduate Student Grant program is one of the few funding opportunities open to master’s and PhD students researching sustainable agriculture.  

Through their research, the grant recipients will work with other researchers, scientists, educators to find sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by farmers and ranchers.

The following projects were selected to received 2021 Graduate Student Grants.

GS21-235 Examining field-crop farmers’ climate change perceptions, adaptation strategies, and resilience in Florida—A spatial econometric approach, University of Florida, $15,775, Student: Yong Liu, yongliu1@ufl.edu, Researcher: Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar, jorgerm@ufl.edu

GS21-236 Identifying the roles of predatory natural enemies in pecan systems: Molecular-based framework for sustainable pest management, University of Georgia, $15,707, Student: Pedro Toledo, toledo@uga.edu, Researcher: Jason Schmidt, jschmid2@uga.edu

GS21-237 Agricultural Water Resource Management in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, University of Florida, $13,076, Student: Megan Donovan, megandonovan@ufl.edu, Researcher: Marilyn Swisher, mesw@ufl.edu

GS21-238 Sustainable Management Practices for Vanilla Cultivation, University of Florida, $16,499, Student: Joshua Anderson, anderson.joshua@ufl.edu, Researcher: Alan Chambers, ac@ufl.edu  

GS21-239 Quantifying and Understanding Factors Affecting Tissue Nitrate Accumulation in Organic Celery, University of Florida, $16,497, Student: Zachary Ray, ray.ztyler@ufl.edu, Researcher: Xin Zhao, zxin@ufl.edu

GS21-240 Evaluating the impacts of Conservation Stewardship plantings on arthropod communities in Louisiana agroecosystems, Louisiana State University, $16,008, Student: Scott Lee, slee168@lsu.edu, Researcher: Jeffrey Davis, jeffDavis@agcenter.lsu.edu  

GS21-241 Harnessing the wild relatives of rice for novel adaptive phenotypes: Genetics and breeding for agricultural sustainability beyond the Green Revolution, Texas Tech University, $16,500, Student: Swarupa Mandal, swarupa.mandal@ttu.edu, Researcher: Benildo Reyes, benildo.reyes@ttu.edu

GS21-242 Equity and Environment in Scaled-Up Sustainable Food Systems Development, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, $16,500, Student: Sophie Kelmenson, soph@live.unc.edu, Research: Nichola Lowe, nlowe@email.unc.edu

GS21-243 Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Associations in Tea under Sustainable Production Systems in Florida, University of Florida, $16,444, Student: Caitlin Clarke, caitlin.clarke@ufl.edu, Researcher: Bala Rathinasabapathi, brath@ufl.edu

GS21-244 What’s the Buzz? Assessing Efficacy, Synergisms, and Sustainability of Pollinators in Southern Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium  corymbosum  L.) University of Florida, $16,493, Student: John Ternest, jternest@ufl.edu, Researcher: Rachel Mallinger, Rachel.mallinger@ufl.edu

GS21-245 Spraying too much: Understanding the biology of the red headed flea beetle to inform IPM in nursery crops, Virginia Tech University, $16,480, Student: Eleanor Lane, elliell@vt.edu, Researcher: Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia, adelpozo@vt.edu

GS21-246 Supporting an emerging industry: developing a broccoli crop model to guide growers with sustainable decision-making, Auburn University, $16,479, Student: Marcos de Barros, mzl0142@auburn.edu, Researcher: Andre da Silva, adasilva@auburn.edu

GS21-247 Small-scale farmer networks in Florida: Understanding and measuring their impacts and exploring the role of extension in their success, University of Florida, $15,930, Student: Jose Perez, joseperezoro@ufl.edu, Researcher: Paul Monaghan, paulf@ufl.edu

GS221-248 African American Absentee Landowners in Houston and Their Knowledge of Rural Land Ownership Conservation Practices- A Needs Assessment, Texas A&M University, $14,532, Student: Ashley Pellerin, Ashley.Pellerin@tamu.edu, Researcher: Chanda Elbert, celbert@tamu.edu

GS21-249 Forecasting pasture productivity from satellite imagery for use in adaptive grazing management, University of Florida, $16,445, Student: Hunter Smith, huntersmith@ufl.edu, Researcher: Chris Wilson, chwilson@ufl.edu

GS21-250 Utility of native floral plantings between tree rows for conservation and management of wild bees and other beneficial insects in tree fruit orchards, University of Arkansas, $14,817, Student: Lilia Beatie, lsbeatti@uark.edu, Researcher: Neelendra Joshi, nkjoshi@uark.edu 

GS21-251 Effectiveness of tarping and tillage as weed management strategies in South Texas, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, $16,499, Student: Christopher De la Rosa, christopher.delarosa02@utrgv.edu, Researcher: Alexis Racelis, alexis.racelis@utrgv.edu

GS21-252 Improving Nutsedge and Grass Control in Organic Production Systems using Sequential Mowing and Organic Herbicide Application, North Carolina State University, $15,654, Student: Stephen Ippolito, jsippoli@ncsu.edu, Researcher: Katherine Jennings, kmjennin@ncsu.edu GS21-253 Combining Roller Crimpers and Electrical Methods for Termination of Cover Crops in Herbicide-free Reduced-tillage Vegetable Crop Production Systems, North Carolina State University, $16,326, Student: Colton Blankenship, cdblank3@ncsu.edu, Researcher: Katherine Jennings, kmjennin@ncsu.edu


Published by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of GeorgiaFort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America’s Southern region. 

Topics: 2021
Related Locations: South