In 2012, the NCR-SARE Administrative Council created the NCR-SARE Hero Recognition to highlight, recognize, and pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to NCR-SARE and/or National SARE. NCR-SARE is pleased to announce that Roy Ballard and Tom Coudron have been named the 2022 NCR-SARE Heroes.
Roy Ballard’s 40-year career exemplifies his commitment to education, horticulture, and community food systems. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from Purdue University and a Master of Science degree in Secondary Education and Teaching from Indiana University, Ballad started teaching ornamental horticulture at South Central Area Vocational School from 1979 to 1991. He joined Purdue University as an Extension Educator in 1991 and became a Hancock County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator in 2006. He continued in that position until 2018, when Ballard assumed the role as the County Extension Director, before retiring in 2019. During his tenure with Purdue Extension, Ballard helped spearhead FoodLink, a statewide online produce database through Purdue Extension, the Hoosier Harvest Market, a farmer-owned online farmers’ cooperative, and the Ways to Grow Program, a business-building program that reached a 19-county area in southeastern Indiana. An authority on small farms, local foods, and sustainable agriculture in Indiana, Ballard served on multiple committees and working groups outside Purdue, such as the Indiana Farm to School Network and Indiana Farm Bureau. In 2019, Ballard received the Indiana Farm Bureau’s Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service to Rural People of Indiana.
During his tenure as Indiana’s SARE State Coordinator from 2009 to 2019, Ballard nurtured the growth of Indiana’s engagement with NCR-SARE by promoting NCR-SARE’s opportunities to potential grant applicants. He encouraged many successful SARE grantees and promoted SARE resources across the state. During that time, you could expect to see Ballard staffing a SARE booth at events like the Indiana Small Farm Conference (which he co-founded), the Indiana Horticultural Congress, and the Indiana Farm Bureau State Conference.
Tom Coudron’s career in advancing sustainability spans more than 40 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint John’s University and a Ph.D. from North Dakota State University. With a background in biochemistry, Coudron held a position as a Research Chemist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service at the Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory (BCIRL) in Columbia, Missouri from 1980 until he retired in 2018. He has developed a national and international reputation as a leading expert and pioneer in insect nutrition and biological control. Dr. Coudron has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed scientific journal articles and co-edited books and book chapters. Additionally, he authored well over 100 proceedings and abstracts of national and international presentations. His work has been cited in scientific articles, references and textbooks, and press releases. Even after retirement, Coudron continues to collaborate with researchers and contributes to ongoing national and international projects and scientific publications. He served on the editorial board for the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. He was a convener for the International Organization for Biological Control Global Working Group on Mass Rearing and Quality Assurance. He also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Missouri and as a Scientific Advisor for the Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers. Additionally, Coudron is a beekeeper and serves on the advisory board of the Boone Regional Beekeepers. In 2018 he was elected president of Missouri Farmers Union and then appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Farmers Union. He continues in those roles today.
Coudron’s engagement with the SARE program is extensive. He chaired the NCR-SARE Technical Committee from 2001to 2010 and served on the Administrative Council from 2001 to 2011, serving as chair from 2010 to 2011. As a leader of NCR-SARE’s Circle of Sustainability subcommittee, Coudron took part in Listening Sessions which reflected his respect and desire to bring together people with differing viewpoints as a way for them to share their perspectives on sustainability and agriculture. He continues to support NCR-SARE as a reviewer for grant proposals and has taken part in the NCR-SARE Alumni Group since 2009.
Learn More about NCR-SARE Heroes
Read tributes and learn more about the NCR-SARE Heroes online.