Coordinated by the NCR-SARE Alumni Organization, the term "NCR-SARE Hero" recognizes the leadership, vision, contributions, and impact that certain people have made in the field of sustainable agriculture in the region.
Brad Brummond lives in Park River, North Dakota, and is a North Dakota State University (NDSU) extension agent for Walsh County where he specializes in organic production. He has served as a county agent since 1982 when he graduated from NDSU with degrees in agricultural education and agricultural extension. For more than 25 years, he has served on the North Dakota State SARE Advisory Committee. Between 1993-2008, Brummond served two terms as an Administrative Council member for NCR-SARE. During his tenure as an Administrative Council member, Brummond helped form NCR-SARE’s Circle Of Sustainability committee, which conducted several listening sessions throughout the region in order to bring together people with differing viewpoints within a community of place to share their perspectives of sustainability and agriculture. Brummond helped organize NCR-SARE’s first-ever listening session with seven First Nations in North Dakota and South Dakota, which helped broaden NCR-SARE’s understanding of the region’s biological and cultural diversity. As an integral organizing member of 4-H for decades, with two sons and a daughter who have been active in 4-H, Brummond has been a strong advocate for youth in agriculture; he assisted in the development of NCR-SARE’s current Youth Educator Grant Program. Brummond has worked with organic and sustainable farmers in North and South Dakota for more than 25 years. In addition to his role with extension, he currently serves as chair of the North Dakota Organic Advisory Board, is the primary organic contact for NDSU Extension Service, and has served as the president of the both the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society and the North Dakota Association of Extension Agents. A valuable resource for North Dakota producers, Brummond has received the Distinguished Service Award and the Achievement Service Award for North Dakota from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Leaders in sustainable agriculture offered tributes as Brummond was nominated and selected to receive this recognition, including:
- "Brad has been an innovative leader for sustainable agriculture not just in North Dakota or in the North Central region, but nationally. I have worked with Brad for many years through SARE and through the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Brad was teaching Extension Agents form across the country about organic crop production and sustainable ag principles before sustainability was widely recognized and valued by a majority of farmers and agricultural educators. That, to me, is the essence of leadership—teaching and promoting ideas before they are accepted and popular among the masses. Over the past twenty years I have found nobody to be a more grounded, effective, and passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture and SARE programs than Brad Brummond." - Mike Hogan, Extension Educator & Associate Professor at Ohio State University, Past President of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, and Ohio SARE State Coordinator
- "I was fortunate my term with the NCR-SARE Advisory Committee overlapped with Brad's. From the start, I was impressed with his passion for sustainable agriculture and his efforts to reach out to the audiences served by NCR-SARE. He has also been a passionate advocate for youth - he long saw the need to invest in youth as they are our future. Brad has also been an encouraging, helpful and positive force with the National Association of County Ag Agents, where he served as a key SARE contact and our North Central Region Director. It has been a real pleasure to work with Brad over the years, and Brad's encouragement has helped others, including myself, to be more involved in sustainable agriculture research and educational efforts." - Liz Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops for University of Minnesota Extension
- "Brad helped spark my passion for agriculture. Early on, I worked with Brad through 4-H and land judging, traveling to the National Land Judging Contest in Oklahoma City. As a junior in high school, I approached Brad to become a cooperator for the Northeaster ND Cover Crop Demonstration Project. He was willing to take a chance and made me a cooperator. My involvement with the project has now led to over five years of cover crop research and demonstrations that have been recognized nationally. The project has changed my perspective of farming practices and led to new innovations on my own farm. With Brad's help, we started a ripple of cover crop related farming practices in Northeastern ND that is quickly turning into a wave. Brad's intelligence, charisma, and unending dedication made this possible." - Justin Zahradka, graduate, North Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources
- "The NDSU Extension Service is incredibly proud that Brad Brummond has received the Hero award. It validates his years of commitment to serving sustainable agriculture, not only in Walsh County, but to producers and youth across the state." - Chris Boerboom, NDSU Extension Director
The NCR-SARE Hero Recognition honors individuals who 1) have provided service to NCR-SARE or national SARE, 2) have shown leadership in sustainable agriculture locally and regionally, and 3) have made lasting impacts to sustainability in the North Central region.
NCR-SARE is one of four regional offices that run the SARE program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture. Since 1988, NCR-SARE has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.