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NMC Assists CNMI Farmers/Ranchers Obtain 59K in Grants (April 6, 2009)

The US Department of Agriculture’s Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) program has recently awarded 21 Farmer/Rancher Grants totaling $325,000. From this total, five CNMI ranchers and farmers will get $59,090 for various projects aimed at sustaining agricultural profitability and promoting environmental stewardship.

Pedro Ariola will demonstrate the feasibility of solar energy in sustainable aquaculture to address high costs in conventionally produced electricity. He was awarded $10,469.

Carolyn Hosono aims to maximize aquaculture productivity with sequential polyculture systems with a grant of $14,892.

Rick Atalig will get $10,000 for sustainable deer production on Rota.

Joe Borja will receive $14,729 for pineapple production.

Ben Borja was awarded $9,000 to demonstrate an alternative poultry production system on Tinian.

Staff members from the Northern Marianas College - Cooperative Research Education and Extension Service (CREES) helped the grantees with writing their grant proposal, and they will also assist them with their projects as technical advisors.

During a recent meeting, Dr. Allan Sabaldica, NMC-CREES WSARE Grant Coordinator, congratulated the recipients of the competitive grants. He indicated that all farmers and ranchers “can apply for these grants if they have an idea of how to implement sustainable methods in their production.”

Western SARE awards grants every year not only to farmers and ranchers, but also to professionals and producers for research and education, professional development, as well as grants for postgraduate students in sustainable agriculture.

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