2016 Fellows Program Applications Due March 15
Last fall, eight Extension educators from around the country visited Nebraska on a tour of farms and ranches. But the trip went beyond a typical farm tour: They spent an entire day at a family-run vegetable farm and goat’s milk creamery where they participated in Reading the Farm, a new learning tool that teaches Extension agents how to holistically assess and improve the sustainability of a farm business.
The tour was part of the enriching, well-regarded professional development program available to NACAA members interested in broadening their knowledge of sustainable agriculture, the SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellowship.
Apply today to be a 2016 Sustainable Agriculture Fellow. (Deadline March 15.)
“Our SARE Fellows are generally early or mid-career, and have gone on to serve in leadership roles in NACAA and Extension. They are leaders in sustainability for our Extension system and our newer educators,” says Mike Hogan, Ohio State University and past President of NACAA.
According to University of Missouri Regional Horticultural Specialist and 2014 Fellow Patrick Byers, “This was a chance to delve more deeply into all aspects of sustainability and to build my skills as a person who is empathetic to the realities of sustainability for the farmers that I serve.”
As a Fellows program participant, Byers has the opportunity to travel to different regions of the country with seven other Fellows, participating in sustainable agriculture farm tours and Reading the Farm.
The Sustainable Agriculture Fellows program has been supported by the National Agriculture County Agents Association (NACAA) and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program since 2007. Fellows continue to report that the program goes beyond their expectations and improves their ability to serve constituents. “It has been very valuable,” says Utah State University Extension Agent and 2013 Fellow Matt Palmer. “When I go back to the county that I’m from and I view farms, I understand how my recommendations interact with their other enterprises. I’m more apt to take a holistic view of their farm.”