Extension News

Professional Development Grants Available for Sustainable Ag Educators

2/9/2006

AMES, Iowa --Iowa State University (ISU) Extension's Sustainable Agriculture Program in cooperation with United States Department of Agriculture's North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, invites pre-proposals for professional development projects. These projects should provide training to agricultural professionals and educators in the Cooperative Extension Service (CES), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), other governmental agencies, and educators in the profit and non-profit sector serving the food and fiber system. The North Central Region states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota  and Wisconsin.

Educators in the North Central Region may submit proposals for up to $75,000, which may be targeted for up to three years in duration. Projects should directly contribute to the overall outcome of the North Central SARE Professional Development Program (PDP). This includes educators who are knowledgeable in the general concepts of sustainable agriculture, and motivated to work in partnership with farmers, ranchers, and the general public on developing programs and activities that enhance the sustainability of rural communities and the food and agricultural system. 

ISU Extension's Sustainable Agriculture Program supports sustainable agriculture in Iowa by providing information to growers and the public, and by working with government, non-profit, and agricultural groups in the state and region on a variety of sustainable agriculture issues. Since its inception, the PDP grant program has funded nearly 200 projects for a grand total of approximately $7,000,000. Successful grant proposals in the past have included bison education on the Great Plains, on-farm composting workshops, developing statewide agriculture teams, as well as using Web sites, video, and audio to further sustainable agriculture efforts. 

"Educational efforts targeted to key educators in Iowa such as Extension staff, non-profit groups, NRCS staff, and others will compete well for these funds as they work to meet the needs of sustainable agriculture locally," said Jerry DeWitt, Iowa State sustainable ag coordinator. "We strongly encourage proposal authors to include farmers and ranchers in the grant proposal."

Proposals are evaluated for their technical merit and relevancy. Funded proposals should demonstrate short-term and intermediate-term outcomes that will be expected from project participants as a result of participating in the grant. Pre-proposal authors should contact Jerry DeWitt by e-mail at jdewitt@iastate.edu or by mail, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, 209 Curtiss, Ames, IA 50011, prior to submission of the pre-proposal. The deadline for proposal submissions is March 22, 2006.

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Contacts :

Jerry DeWitt, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture,
(515) 294-7836, jdewitt@iastate.edu

Keven Arrowsmith, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-2405, karrows@iastate.edu