This summer, four innovative Extension educators joined the ranks of ag professionals chosen for the SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellows program. SARE Fellows receive hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture and alternative farming systems, unique networking opportunities and an understanding of the diverse nature of American agriculture.
Selected from more than 40 applicants, the 2014 Sustainable Agriculture Fellows announced at the July National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Conference in Mobile, Ala., are:
- Patrick Byers, Regional Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri
- Yvette Goodiel, Sustainability and Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent, University of Florida
- Mark Hutchinson, Extension Professor, University of Maine
- Susan Kerr, Northwest Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist, Washington State University
Interested? NACCA members in good standing with their state associations are eligible to apply for the Fellows Program.
Byers is excited to broaden his knowledge of sustainable agriculture. 'The Fellows program will expose me to programs and techniques that are new to my experience and could serve as models as I expand programming efforts,' he says.
Kerr expects to network to create a much needed sustainable livestock curriculum: 'One result of collaborating with other educators would be the development of a useful resource that would be broadly applicable by livestock educators and producers throughout the United States.'
SARE/NACAA Fellows participate in sustainable agriculture tours in each of the four USDA regions over the course of two years. They see a diversity of sustainable agriculture methods first-hand and talk with farmers, ranchers, processors and others who represent regionally specific agricultural systems. Participants make close connections with 11 other Fellows, with whom they can continue the conversation to explore and foster new ideas.
SARE and NACAA have collaborated to provide the Sustainable Agriculture Fellows program since 2007. Learn more about the experiences of past and current Fellows.