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NCR-SARE Announces Professional Development Grant Program Award for Eric Mader

The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) recently recommended that Eric Mader at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation receive a $71,710 grant for the proposed project, "The Conservation Biological Control Short Course".

The Course synthesizes the latest research findings on the habitat requirements of beneficial insects and offers realistic solutions for enhancing their numbers. Specific course modules include beneficial insect biology, real world case studies of pest management using beneficial insects, designing habitat enhancements for beneficials, pesticide risk mitigation strategies, and support for ecological pest management through USDA conservation programs. Mader's project has been named as the 2013 Paula Ford Professional Development Program Proposal of the Year. From 1991-1997 Dr. Ford served as was 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 the NCR-SARE PDP, 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 year, NCR-SARE awarded more than $350,000 in Professional Development Program grants that support state professional development programs and competitive grants for training agricultural professionals. NCR-SARE Professional Development Program competitive grants emphasize training agricultural educators in extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, private, and not-for-profit sectors, using farmers as educators and addressing emerging issues in the farm community.

A complete list of the 2013 NCR-SARE Professional Development Grant Program projects selected for funding as well as copies of the project abstracts can be found online at

NCR-SARE is one of four regional offices that run the SARE program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture. 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, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and NCR agribusinesses, state agencies, and foundations sit at the table to distribute grant money.


North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research
and Education Program (NCR-SARE)




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