As an institutional mechanism, funding agencies play a key role in actualizing perspectives about sustainable agriculture by funding research, education, and outreach activities. This paper examines trends in sustainable agriculture research and education projects funded by the Southern SARE program in the last 15 years. First, it analyzes key trends in the research foci of 174 projects, which demonstrate two main threads of thought and research in sustainability: one oriented toward addressing production issues and the other toward community issues. The paper then examines projects that use “quality-of-life measures” to guide their research processes and discusses common challenges that these projects face. The concluding section presents our recommendations to future researchers and to SARE for research strategies that may allow SARE to continue its contributions to the enhancement of quality of life for farmers, rural residents, and rural communities.

Publication Date