Region 4 Strategic Agricultural Initiatives
The Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) promotes transition to reduced-risk pest management practices in agriculture to protect human health and the environment.
Program Purpose and Scope
The Strategic Agricultural Initiative is EPA's outreach program to demonstrate and facilitate the adoption of farm pest management practices that will enable growers to transition away from the use of high-risk pesticides. The program helps develop pest management practices and products that are safe, effective and support the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) with a unique focus on regional needs.
The program has two major components. The first is an annual grant program which funds research, development, monitoring, public education, training, demonstrations and studies according to the stated priorities (see R4 Request for Applications). R4 covers the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Similar grant programs or cooperative agreements are available in all 10 EPA regions (see the national SAI web site below for contact information).
The second component of the program supports both formal and informal partnerships with agriculture stakeholders through a variety of activities such as serving on advisory boards, workgroups, and grant review panels. These activities are referred to as “collaborations.”
National Strategic Agriculture Initiative Web site: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/grants/aginitiative.htm
The Region 4 SAI Coordinator serves in an official capacity on the USDA Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program’s Administrative Council and on the USDA Southern Region IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Center Advisory Board. Both the SSARE and SIPMC fund grants which support regional integrated pest management and sustainable agriculture goals.
SSARE Web site:
SIPMC Web site:
Grants Funded FY 2010
Implementing and Documenting IPM Adoption in Beekeeping, University of Georgia; $99,824
In vitro produced Pasteuria as a non- chemical alternative nematicide to fumigant use in southeast vegetable and fruit production, Auburn University; $99,850
Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, National Agriculture Demonstrations and Promotion; $99,852
Grants Funded FY 2009
Demonstration of Alternate Nematode Management Strategies to Reduce Pesticide Usage While Enhancing Water Quality and Farm Profit; Clemson University; $79,017
Reducing Organophosphate Insecticide Use in Kentucky Apple Orchards; Kentucky State University; $90,354
Sustainable Management Strategies for Food Commodity, Minor Crop, and Livestock Farmers in Tennessee and Kentucky; Cumberland River Compact; $100,000
Grants Funded for FY 2007/2008
Pesticide Stewardship and Risk Reduction in Mississippi, B.F. Smith Foundation/Delta F.A.R.M.; $200,000
Integrating Sod Based Rotation into Row Crop Farming Operations to Support Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Production in South Georgia; The Nature Conservancy, GA Chapter; $200,000
Developing and implementing an innovative approach for increasing the use of educe risk pest management practices in NC sweet potato production through leveraging of federal conservation programs; Center for Agricultural Partnerships; $112,657
Operation Transition: The Evolution of Large-Scale Conventional Producers of Food Crops in Florida to Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Practices through Education, Outreach and Assistance; Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc.; $196,789.
For more detail about SAI projects funded since program inception in 1998 see the below web site: http://sai.ipm.gov/ (select “Public Access”)
The Region 4 SAI grant program has a focus on diversity, funding projects in all eight states and in a variety of cropping systems including apples, bahia-grass, blueberries, citrus, cotton, grapes, honeybees, nursery production, organic transition, peaches, peanuts, Satsuma oranges, sweet corn, turf grass, and Vidalia onions, reflecting the crop diversity of our region.