NCR-SARE's 2022 Professional Development Awards

October 19, 2022
Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons has received SARE support to provide legal workshops, resources, and a community for farmers, ranchers, and their service providers. Photo by Mark Pensiten.

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for the Professional Development competitive grant program. For the 2022 Professional Development Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $926,000 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 the last name:

  • Mallory Krieger with Organic Trade Association in Washington, DC was awarded $89,914 for the project, “Expanding the OATS Training Pipeline for Organic Ag. Professionals with Locally-Focused On-Farm Events.” Although funded in Washington, DC, the project results will primarily help agriculture in the North Central region. Krieger’s project has been named the 2022 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.
  • Sally Worley with Practical Farmers of Iowa in Ames, IA was awarded $89,794 for the project, “Agricultural Systems Education for Grassroots Sustainable Agriculture Educators.”
  • Travis Burke with the University of Illinois Extension in Urbana, IL was awarded $80,463 for the project, “Soil Matters in Illinois.”
  • Julia Valliant with Indiana University in Bloomington, IN was awarded $89,958 for the project, “In Service to Beginning Farmer/Rancher Land Access: An Expanded and Independent Community of Practice for Managers of Land Access Policy Incentives.”
  • Rachel Armstrong with Farm Commons in Duluth, MN was awarded $72,072 for the project, “Cultivating Farm Law Leaders.”
  • Erin Meier with Green Lands Blue Waters in Saint Paul, MN was awarded $89,982 for the project, “Continuous Living Cover 101 - Building a Foundation for Early Career Conservation Professionals.”
  • Sougata Bardhan with Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO was awarded $56,248 for the project, “More than a Woodlot - Developing Natural Resource Professionals’ Capacity to Support Forest Farming in Missouri.”
  • Kristine Lang with South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD was awarded $89,805 for the project, “Strengthening High Tunnel Training and Support for the Next Generation of Technical Service Providers and Producers.”
  • Craig Ficenec with Sand County Foundation in Madison, WI was awarded $89,607 for the project, “Leadership for Midwestern Watersheds.”
  • Jill Hapner with GrassWorks, Inc. in West Bend, WI was awarded $89,974 for the project, “Bridging the Gap: Building Skills in Diversified Forage Chains.”
  • Lori Stern with Marbleseed (formerly known as Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service - MOSES) in Spring Valley, WI was awarded $88,978 for the project, “Educational Methods for Farmer Self-Organizing.”

View NCR-SARE’s other 2022 funded projects and their descriptions online at (scroll to the bottom of the 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