NCR-SARE's 2023 Heroes: Dean Baas and KB Paul

May 31, 2023

In 2012, the NCR-SARE Administrative Council created the NCR-SARE Hero Recognition to highlight, recognize, and pay tribute to those who have contributed to NCR-SARE and/or National SARE.

Dean Baas and KB Paul have been named the 2023 NCR-SARE Heroes.

Man standing in cover crops field
Dean Baas, NCR-SARE Hero. Photo courtesy of MSU-CANR.

Dean Baas                  

Dean Baas’ academic training started at Michigan State University (MSU), where he received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering. Baas worked for 20 years with the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Michigan, in technical/management positions, before returning to MSU to undertake a doctorate in environmental geosciences and biosystems engineering in 2001. 

Upon completing his doctorate in 2009, Baas began his career as an extension educator in sustainable agriculture for MSU Extension. His research and outreach on cover crops, soil health, and organic agriculture stemmed from real farmers’ concerns in Michigan and the Midwest.

Baas’ service to SARE spanned more than 15 years. Baas joined Dale Mutch as a research associate in 2007 and then as the state co-coordinator for Michigan in 2009. Baas became the SARE state coordinator in Michigan when Mutch retired in 2013 and stayed in the role until he retired from MSU in 2022. As the face of SARE in Michigan, Baas attended countless events in the state promoting sustainable agriculture and devoted significant time to reviewing SARE grant proposals.

Since 2007, Baas has served on the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) Executive Committee and provided considerable leadership during their Cover Crop Decision Tools development. After retiring in 2022, Baas continues to serve on the MCCC Executive Committee as an advisor on the Long-Term Agroecosystems research (LTAR) project at the MSU W. K. Kellogg Biological Station and co-teaches the multi-institution cover crops in agroecosystems class at MSU.

Leaders in sustainable agriculture offered tributes as Baas was nominated and selected to receive this recognition. Read more about Dean Baas.

Man standing next to tomato plant
KB Paul, NCR-SARE Hero. Photo courtesy of Gina Avery.

KB Paul         

Dr. Kamalendu (KB) Paul is Lincoln University’s longest-serving faculty member, with a career that spanned more than 42 years. Paul’s academic training with undergraduate studies in India. He received a master’s degree in plant and soil science from Tuskegee University in Alabama and a doctorate in biology from the University of Ottawa.

In 1975, Paul started his career at Lincoln University, a historically black 1890 land-grant university in Jefferson City, Missouri. He started as an assistant professor of agricultural sciences. In the mid-1980s, Paul refocused his work in Africa in various agriculture and natural resources roles; he worked in 14 countries over 13 years.

Paul eventually returned to Lincoln University in 1998; he served as a professor of agriculture and environmental sciences and a state extension specialist with Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (LUCE). With Paul’s leadership, LUCE launched the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program in 2008, where he served until his retirement in 2017. Paul was a co-principal investigator for the Missouri AgrAbility project, which helps farmers with disabilities and their families succeed. For ten years he served as the SARE state coordinator in Missouri from 2007-2017. He was a familiar face representing SARE at events. He encouraged potential grantees and reviewed numerous grant proposals. As a retired professor, Paul still works part-time. He provides assistance and guidance to all ISFOP staff to meet the program’s objective, which is to help the small farmers and ranchers of Missouri, especially those who are socially disadvantaged and underserved.

Leaders in sustainable agriculture offered tributes as Paul was nominated and selected to receive this recognition. Read more about KB Paul.

Related Locations: North Central