- Education and Training: networking, workshop
- Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution
- Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures
Reaping the Rewards of Our SARE Investment: The Multi-State Farmer Linkage Program addressed the professional development needs of educators in Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development. Key agriculture professionals (educators) were targeted from Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota, and the Dakotas to receive training direct from farmers and ranchers. Farmers/ranchers who had received SARE producer grants from 1992-2003 shared with the selected educators their personal experiences, goals, and identified priority needs for research and education. This unique opportunity for educators to learn first hand from those who are farming and ranching created an environment where new research and education ideas could develop.
•Educators will become aware of the farmers/ranchers in their states who have received SARE Producer Grants and how these grants have impacted their farm or ranch.
•Seventy-five educators including five state SARE coordinators will have direct feedback from fifty farmers and ranchers.
•Educators will have a better understanding of the resources that are available for future PDP training.
•Farmers/ranchers themselves will make contacts with other farmers/ranchers and educators for future support.
•Educators will become more knowledgeable about what others have been doing, and will be eager to provide future assistance.
•These networks will carry on into the development of new and revised assistance programs.
•Network building will motivate educators to modify their current assistance methods to better fit the farmers/ranchers.
•State SARE Coordinators along with Administrative Council members will have specific information from networking and breakout sessions which will help them identify and support priority needs in their state and region.
•Greater awareness of farmers/ranchers SARE grant experience, may suggest promotional concepts that have been overlooked.
•Four local farmer support discussion groups which will serve as an ongoing pool of direct feedback from farmers/ranchers to educators.
•North Central SARE and other educators will respond to the needs of farmers/ranchers by considering ten research and education priorities from five different subject areas. These priorities will then be taken back to the SARE Administrative Council members in each state, where they will be narrowed down to two priorities.
•North Central SARE will then develop and implement these two priorities.
•Four State Coordinators will tailor the current programs in their state in response to what they learn from farmers/ranchers.
•North Central SARE will designate two priorities for the Research and Education call for proposal ideas as they are identified by discussions in the various breakout sessions.
•Farmers/ranchers will take a more active role in local and regional sustainable agriculture programs and organizations which will continue to support the educators in their areas.
•Future Professional Development Programs sponsored by four State Sustainable Agriculture Coordinators will have three farmers or ranchers who will provide training.