For Immediate Release: November 22, 1994
Philip Rasmussen, SARE/ACE Coordinator
Jill Auburn, Training Coordinator
(916) 757-3278 or -7556
Kristen Kelleher, Communications
WESTERN SUSTAINABLE AG TRAINING PROGRAM UNDERWAY
First round of grants awarded, regional training coordinator selected,
state strategic plans begun and second grant cycle started
LOGAN, UTAH -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable
Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program in the Western U.S.
recently awarded nearly a half million dollars in educational grants to
several universities and non-profit organizations. The purpose of the
grants is to kick off a federally-legislated "train the trainers" effort to
instruct Extension Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service
(formerly the Soil Conservation Service) personnel and others in
sustainable agriculture concepts and practices.
The Western region SARE program is coordinated by soil scientist V.
Philip Rasmussen and hosted by Utah State University.
"We've hit the ground running this year with a handful of solid,
ground-breaking training projects," says Rasmussen. "The SARE regional
leadership worked closely with selected training project leaders to make
sure that every state and territory in the West would have access to at
least one educational effort."
"One goal of this grants program is to train Extension advisors and
other professionals, but the end users are really farmers and ranchers,"
says A.J. Dye, USDA program leader for this $2.96 million national effort.
"Sustainable agriculture practices and accurate decision-making
tools can help producers succeed in a way that ensures their futures as
well as the health of soil, water, and other natural and human resources,"
Rasmussen also announced that Jill Auburn, Ph.D., of the University
of California will act as training coordinator. Auburn will organize the
annual educational grants cycle and link training projects with similar
state, federal and private outreach efforts.
The mission of the SARE program, authorized by Congress in the 1990
Farm Bill, is to expand knowledge and adoption of food production, farming
and ranching practices that are environmentally sound, economically viable
and socially acceptable.
The competitive research grants portion of SARE, known as Chapter
1, has been funded since 1988. The new educational training effort, most
often called Chapter 3, received funding for the first time in the 1994
federal fiscal year. Both grants programs are administered by USDA's
newly-combined Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service
(formerly the separate Cooperative State Research Service and the Extension
According to Auburn, in addition to awarded grants, every state
Extension Service has been given financial support to create educational
strategies for training their personnel in sustainable agriculture. The
federal program has directed state offices to bring together a variety of
players to work on the plans. It is actively encouraging strategies that
take advantage of existing resources and encourages long-term dialogue
within the extended agricultural community.
"It's a terrific opportunity for Extension and land-grant
universities to work with farm advocates, educators and private industry
outside the federal system on a vital task: sharing the latest scientific
research and technologies related to sustainable agriculture," says Auburn.
Grant Awards and Selection
Western SARE Chapter 3 grant awards include:
* $78,000 for a four-state "Pacific Northwest Sustainable
Agricultural Systems Training Program" involving Oregon, Washington, Alaska
and Idaho to be coordinated by John Luna of Oregon State University.
* $75,000 for a one-year training program utilizing satellite-down
linking and teleconferencing led by Joe Hiller of the University of Wyoming
and Dennis Lamm of Colorado State University, which will focus on rangeland
livestock production and dryland farming. It will be targeted to eight
states: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Southern Idaho, Montana, Northern New
Mexico, Northern Arizona and Nevada.
* $89,000 for a one-year program coordinated by Po-Yung Lai of the
University of Hawaii for extension personnel in Hawaii, American Samoa,
Guam, Micronesia and the Northern Mariana Islands.
* $71,000 for a University of California, Davis, program led by Steve
Temple that will use a long-term, SARE-funded sustainable agriculture
farming systems research project as a "living laboratory" for workshops and
other educational efforts. Extension leaders in California, Oregon,
Washington, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and other Western states will
be encouraged to participate.
* $91,000 for a two-year training program coordinated by Nancy
Matheson of the Montana-based nonprofit Alternative Energy Resources
Organization that will include educational events and materials built upon
research and results of "farm and ranch improvement clubs" (farmer-led
small groups who conduct on-farm research and demonstration projects). The
program will be geared for extension personnel in Montana, Washington,
Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.
* $5,620 to Jerome Osentowski and Sandy Cruz of the nonprofit Central
Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Colorado to produce a pamphlet on
permaculture, or "permanent agriculture" systems.
The selection process for the first round of grant awards and a
regional training coordinator was conducted simultaneously and directed by
the program's Administrative Council. Regional recommendations were then
approved by the USDA.
Training Coordinator Auburn was a founding member of the
Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a national information-gathering and
electronic networking initiative of the national SARE program and has been
involved and interested in sustainable agriculture for fifteen years.
Auburn completed her doctorate at the University of California, Davis. In
addition to her new appointment, Auburn will continue to act as associate
director of the University of California's Sustainable Agriculture Research
and Education Program (UC SAREP).
New Calls for Proposals Released
In one of her first duties as training coordinator, Auburn recently
initiated the Chapter 3 grants cycle for the current federal fiscal year. A
Call for Proposals for educational and professional development training
projects was released this month; proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. PST on
January 10, 1995. For information or a grant application, contact Auburn at
(916) 757-3278 or -7556.
A Call for Proposals for research and education grants through the
Chapter 1 program was also released. The SARE host institution office at
Utah State University should be contacted for questions or an application
at (801) 797-2230. Proposals for Chapter 1 grants are due by 5:00 p.m. MST
on November 29, 1994.
State-by-State Strategic Planning
In addition to the starting this year's training grants cycle,
state-by-state educational strategic planning is also continuing. All
interested groups, organizations and persons interested in participating in
the process are encouraged to contact their State Extension Sustainable
Agriculture Leader, as listed below.
* Irv Skelton, Alaska: (907) 474-6367
* Salei'A Afele-Fa'Amuli, American Samoa: (684) 699-1575
* James C. Wade, Arizona: (602) 621-5308
* Bill Liebhardt, California: (916) 752-2379 or 7556
* Dennis Lamm, Colorado: (303) 491-6281
* Bob Barber, Guam: (671)734-2575 or 2518
* Po-Yung Lai, Hawaii: (808) 956-8392
* James R. Nelson, Idaho: (208) 885-7635
* Nelson M. Esguerra, Micronesia: (691) 320-2462
* Greg Johnson, Montana: (406) 994-3861
* Hudson A. Glimp, Nevada: (702) 784-4254
* Mike English, New Mexico: (505) 646-5280
* John Luna, Oregon: (503) 737-5430 or 3464
* Ralph Whitesides, Utah: (801) 797-2259
* Al Pettibone, Washington: (206) 840-4539
* Joe Hiller, Wyoming: (307) 766-2196
The national SARE initiative is directed regionally by four
independent policy-making councils: West, North Central, Northeast and
Southern United States. In cooperation with the federal SARE office and the
USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, these
regional committees of scientists, farmers and administrators represent a
variety of institutions, agencies, organizations and interests that provide
regional perspective and leadership to all research, educational and
Utah State University is host to the SARE program in the
thirteen-state Western region, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California,
Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah,
Washington, Wyoming and the Island Protectorates.
Public Information and Comms
USDA Western Region SARE/ACE
c/o University of California