Sandy Bell earned her doctorate in adult learning at the University of Connecticut in 1996. Since 2000, when she joined the faculty of that program, Sandy has focused her research and service on applications of adult learning theory and practice in agricultural settings. She has worked with farmers, agricultural educators and administrators, service providers, and policymakers. Highlights of her contributions to the field include researching the role of farmer mental models and social networks in behavioral change, addressing educational needs of beginning farmers, designing optimal learning supports for women farmers and developing training programs to implement EPA Worker Protection Standards.

Janet McAllister joined the Northeast SARE Professional Development Program (PDP) staff in 2009 and served as the PDP coordinator from 2017 to 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Connecticut. Before joining Northeast SARE she had career experiences in agricultural production and research, and soil science and environmental public health. As PDP staff and program coordinator, Janet developed training programs in adult learning and evaluation for Northeast SARE state coordinators and other agricultural
educators who facilitate train-the-trainer and farmer education programs.


We extend heartfelt thanks to all the educators who joined us in workshops and inspired us as we learned from their experiences, and to all the administrators who supported our efforts and those of the educators. We also extend a warm thank you to the Extension educators who graciously allowed us to include examples from their work in this guide: Rachel Bespuda, Joe Bonelli, Jean King and Tom Morris (Univ. of Connecticut); Sidney Bosworth and Beth Holtzman (Univ. of Vermont); Richard Brzozowski, Ellen Mallory and Tom Molloy (Univ. of Maine); Katie Campbell-Nelson and Nevin Dawson (Northeast SARE); Jason Challandes (Delaware State Univ.); Heather Faubert (Univ. of Rhode Island); Mary Halbleib (Oregon State Univ.); Elsa Sanchez (Penn State); Olivia Saunders and Seth Wilner (Univ. of New Hampshire); Dan Severson (Univ. of Delaware); and Violet Stone (Cornell Univ.). Finally, we’d like to thank the following reviewers who provided feedback on the guide as it developed: Katie Campbell-Nelson, Mary Halbleib, Jermaine Hinds (SARE), Kim Kroll (SARE), Seth Wilner and Andy Zieminski (SARE).

- Sandy Bell and Janet McAllister