NCR-SARE Seeking Council Members

November 30, 2021
Erin Schneider, photo by Colin Crowley.

Erin Schneider and Rob McClure run Hilltop Community Farm in La Valle, Wisconsin, where they grow and sell vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers. Erin Schneider's term as chairperson of NCR-SARE's Administrative Council (AC) recently ended. 

"As an AC member and past Chairperson, I have appreciated the chance to learn from a diversity of experiences and backgrounds throughout the region and network with others. The beauty of the AC is that it brings together such disparate folks and ends up with such a strong common focus and effort. It is rewarding and deeply gratifying to know that I am part of a regional effort in helping farmers, researchers, and practitioners find support, share in the risk, and advance sustainable agriculture in the region. I always felt valued for my time and contributions, even when disagreements arose. Often there is no shortage of great ideas expressed, the challenge is discernment. Being in a leadership role has helped me cultivate a degree of empathy toward others, and be a better communicator and decision-maker when it comes to my own ideas for my farm business. I think of the connections I've made and what they continue to lead to in bridging art, heart, and agriculture in the region. I encourage you to try it out and apply!" - Erin Schneider

NCR-SARE is seeking applicants with sustainable agriculture expertise for three vacancies* on its Administrative Council: 

  • 1994 Land Grant University Representative
  • 1862 Land Grant University At-Large representative
  • State Department of Agriculture Representative

*Council members must live and work in one of the 12 states that comprise the North Central SARE region. Those states are IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, and WI. The university representatives can be engaged in any combination of teaching, research, extension, and/or administration; they should have significant expertise in sustainable agriculture.
NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council represents various agricultural sectors, states, and organizations. It sets program priorities and makes granting decisions for the region. A collection of farm and non-farm residents, the Administrative Council includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in our 12 states. Council members come from regional farms and ranches, university extension and research programs, and nonprofits. In addition, the Administrative Council includes regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, state agencies, and agribusinesses.
The term for each of these SARE Administrative Council slots is three years. Council members attend two in-person meetings a year, typically 2-3 day meetings in July and February at various Midwest locations (recent meetings have been virtual), and participate in a few virtual meetings each year. Travel expenses are fully covered for travel to Administrative Council meetings.

Applicants should have a good understanding of sustainable agriculture and be comfortable with reviewing grant proposals and participating in a group decision-making process. Please note that members of the Administrative Council are not eligible to apply for SARE funding during their time on the Administrative Council. More information about NCR-SARE and the Administrative Council is online at
To apply for a seat on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, submit the following information by Thursday, January 20, 2022, using our online form at:
Information we request (first two items are collected through the online form)
• your areas of interest or focus in sustainable agriculture
• why you are interested in serving on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council
• a short bio or cv/resume covering your experience, affiliations, and/or qualifications
NCR-SARE is one of four regional offices that run the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture. Since 1988, NCR-SARE has awarded more than $80 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others in 12 states. The SARE program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

Related Locations: North Central