Laura Paine at Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship has been recently recommended to receive a $74,107 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) for the project, “Enhancing the Quality of Work-based Beginning Farmer Training Programs Through Trainer Professional Development.”
“For aspiring farmers, work-based training (apprenticeships or internships) is the only means of combining hands-on learning and the unique blend of knowledge, skills, and wisdom that only experienced farmers can provide. This project enhances the learning experience of aspiring and beginning farmers as they participate in Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and other mentoring relationships by training farmer-trainers and other agricultural professionals on adult learning, coaching and mentoring best practices, and a technical curriculum on dairy farming,” said Paine.
Paine's project has been named as the 2017 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.
This grant was awarded as part of NCR-SARE's Professional Development Program, which emphasizes training agricultural educators in extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community. NCR-SARE administers each of its grant programs, each with specific priorities, audiences, and timelines. The focus for each of the NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education.
Funding considerations are made based on how well the applicant articulates the nature of the research and education components of their sustainable agriculture grant proposals.
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.