NCR-SARE Announces 2012 Professional Development Program Awards
From programs that will train tribal educators to a project that will build community support for local food, the NCR-SARE program recommended funding nearly $650,000 in Professional Development Program grants in 2012. NCR-SARE Professional Development Program competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community.
NCR-SARE administers each of its grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences, and timelines. The focus for each of the NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are made based on how well the applicant articulates the nature of the research and education components of their sustainable agriculture grant proposals.
- With this $75,000 Professional Development Program grant, Ross Racine and the Intertribal Agriculture Council will conduct the project, “Sustainable Agricultural Workshop Series for Tribal Educators,” in Wis., Mich., and Minn. The series is designed to promote knowledge, development, and sharing among educators working with directly with American Indian farmers, ranchers, and other food producers.
- With this $74,842 Professional Development Program grant, Erin Lizotte of Michigan State University will conduct the project, “Enhancing the Integrated Pest Management Academy to Provide Professional Development Opportunities for Agricultural Educators that Increase Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture in Michigan.” Lizotte will train sustainable agriculture educators and advisors in the fundamentals of pest management and identify resources and for sustainable agriculture practitioners. Lizotte's goal is to increase sustainable agriculture through expanded adoption of integrated pest management strategies that improve crop efficiency, minimize pesticide use, and enhance environmental quality.
- With this $74,980 Professional Development Program grant, Glenn Muske of North Dakota State University will conduct the project, “Expanding Opportunities for Sustainable Small Farm Specialty Crop Producers: Training Educators in Feasibility Analysis, Marketing, and Community Building.” Muske will offer training on market profitably, marketing methods, and building community support for locally grown foods. Muske expects that the training will reach Extension agents, employees of Ag Experiment Stations, vocational agricultural instructors, Resource Conservation and Development coordinators, and others.
- With this $59,296 Professional Development Program grant, Ajay Nair of Iowa State University will conduct the project, “Educating Agricultural Professionals and Extension Educators in Developing Sustainable and Resilient Cropping Systems through Integration of Cover Crops.” Nair will organize statewide cover crop training workshops and field days for Commercial Horticulture Field Specialists, County Horticulturalists and members of organizations such as Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Regional Food Systems Working Group, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and Practical Farmers of Iowa.
- With this $75,000 Professional Development Program grant, Brigid Quinn at Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, Neb, will conduct the project, “Indigenous Cultivar and Wildcrafting Curriculum.” Quinn will create a curriculum for community-based educators to train tribal members in the production and use of indigenous cultivars and wildcrafted plants.
- With this $75,000 Professional Development Program grant project, Tom Redfern and Rural Action in Ohio will partner with Green Edge Organic Gardens (GEOG)to conduct the project, “Beyond Season Extension: High Tunnels for Season Creation and Economic, Community, and Environmental Sustainability.” They will train agricultural professionals on season extension, growing, and marketing techniques developed by GEOG over a twenty-seven-year period.
- With this $74,385 Professional Development Program grant project, Michele Schermann of the University of Minnesota will conduct the project, “Growing a Network of GAPs Educators in the Upper Midwest.” Schermann at the University of Minnesota will develop curricula and provide in-depth training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and on-farm food safety practices to educators and other professionals who work with fruit and vegetable growers in Minnesota and the upper Midwest.
- With this $64,934 Professional Development Program grant project, Lois Wright Morton of Iowa State University will conduct the project, “Building Capacity for Climate Extension.” Wright Morton and research associate Jamie Benning will work together to teach 20 Extension Educators about long-term weather patterns and their relationship with agriculture. These educators, representing 10 institutions across nine states in the upper Midwest, will be able to help build farmers' knowledge and capacities to implement risk management strategies that address climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- With this $72,484 Professional Development Program grant project, Michael Gold of the University of Missouri will conduct the project, “Increasing Agroforestry Adoption and Networking in the Midwest through Targeted Professional Development.” Gold’s project will create an Agroforestry Academy for professional development of natural resource professionals, extension agents, and other educators, to advance adoption of agroforestry as a cornerstone of productive land use in the Midwest. Additionally, Gold’s project has been named as the 2012 Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year. From 1991-1997 Dr. Ford served as was the Program Coordinator for the Southern Region SARE program. She was the NCR-SARE Professional Development Program Coordinator at Kansas State University for 11 years (1999-2009), and supported sustainable agriculture and SARE for more than 20 years. To honor Dr. Ford's contributions to NCR-SARE, the Administrative Council created the "Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year" award. Each year, one Professional Development Program funded project in the North Central Region is given this special designation. The region selects the project that best exemplifies Dr. Ford's contributions and passion for evaluation, professional development and/or science-based research.
A complete list of these 2012 Professional Development Grant Program projects as well as copies of the project abstracts can be found online here.
Professional Development Program grants are one of five grant opportunities NCR-SARE offers to enhance sustainable agriculture outreach and education throughout the North Central region. Calls for preproposals and proposals for each of the grant programs and are released on an annual basis. Click here more information about NCR-SARE and our grant programs, or contact Dr. Rob Myers.