NCR-SARE's 2021 Professional Development Grant Recipients

November 9, 2021
Erin Gundy received a 2021 NCR-SARE PDP grant to share the principles and practices of regenerative grazing with ag professionals in Illinois. Photo by Erin Gundy.

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for the Professional Development competitive grant program. For the 2021 Professional Development Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $931,000 to 11 projects.

NCR-SARE Professional Development Program competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, non-profit organizations, and other public and private sector organizations. The following awarded projects are in order by state and then by last name:

  • Erin Gundy with Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District in Champaign, IL was awarded $89,093 for the project, “Building Deeper Connections: Advanced Regenerative Grazing Training For Agriculture Advisors in Eastern Illinois.”
  • Tamara Benjamin with Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN was awarded $89,046 for the project, “Building Institutional Support to Increase Farm Viability of Indiana’s Beginning Farmers.”
  • Carol Baldwin with Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS was awarded $90,000 for the project, “Enhancing Community Water Quality, Livestock Performance, and Farmer and Rancher Income through Improved Animal Watering Systems.”
  • Stu Shafer with the Kansas Rural Center in Wichita, KS was awarded $89,656 for the project, “Alternate Roots—Land Acquisition and Tenure Options.”
  • Lindsey Scalera with Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI was awarded $89,912 for the project, “Growing the Impact: Building Capacity for Statewide and Regional Food System Plans.”
  • Scott Carlson with Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) in Saint Paul, MN was awarded $90,000 for the project, “Increasing Sustainable and Organic Farmers' Access to Credit and COVID-19 Relief through Professional Development.”
  • David Harper with Agrarian Trust in Weare, MN was awarded $80,000 for the project, “Building Equitable Farmland Tenure Models for Minnesota Farmers.”
  • Lucinda Winter with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN was awarded $79,010 for the project, “Professional Development Project: Economics of Silvopasture.”
  • Eric Mader with The Xerces Society of Portland, OR was awarded $67,160 for the project, “The Urban Farming Soil Life Short Course.” For the PDP Program, proposals from U.S. states and island protectorates are accepted, but the proposal must convince reviewers that project results will primarily benefit agriculture in the North Central region.
  • Christina Anderson with Wisconsin Land and Water in Madison, WI was awarded $78,298 for the project, “Empowering Conservation Professionals to Promote Climate Resilience through Carbon Farm Planning.”
  • Rebecca Power with the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI was awarded $89,185 for the project, “Closing the Financial Information Gap in Conservation Agriculture.” Power's project has been named as the 2020 Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year. From 1991-1997, Dr. Ford served as the Program Coordinator for the Southern Region SARE program. She was the NCR-SARE Professional Development Program Coordinator at Kansas State University for 11 years (1999-2009) and supported sustainable agriculture and SARE for more than 20 years. To honor Dr. Ford's contributions to NCR-SARE, the Administrative Council created the 'Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year' award. Each year, one Professional Development Program funded project in the North Central Region is given this special designation. The region selects the project that best exemplifies Dr. Ford's contributions and passion for evaluation, professional development and/or science-based research.

View NCR-SARE’s other 2021 funded projects along with their descriptions online at (scroll to bottom of page).

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. A collection of farm and non-farm citizens, the AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Related Locations: North Central