Southern SARE has a leadership structure intended to encourage each member to contribute fully, while at the same time allowing tasks to be distributed as appropriately as possible. Southern SARE’s organization consists of the Administrative Council, Technical Reviewers, State Ag Coordinators, and regional staff. Learn more about the process, roles, and responsibilities of Southern SARE’s governance in the Administrative Council Handbook.
The Administrative Council, which is often called the AC, is the governing body for the Southern SARE region. The AC appoints the host institution and coordinator, oversees the general budget and guides programming. A large part of this responsibility revolves around establishing all Calls for Proposals, and overseeing the review of proposals and evaluation of projects.
The AC is composed of 23 members: 13 selected by the AC through an open nomination process, and 10 members appointed by our partner agencies. These agencies include 1890 Extension Institutions, 1890 Research Institutions, 1862 Extension Institutions, 1862 Research Institutions, State Departments of Agriculture, US Forestry Service, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, and a representative from the SARE National office. Of the 12 members selected from open nominations, seven are producers, three represent non-governmental organizations, one represents agribusiness, and one reflects quality of life issues for the AC. See who is currently serving on our Administrative Council.
The term of membership on the AC is normally three years, with the opportunity to be reappointed for one additional term. Memberships are staggered to assure continuity. Producers and NGO representatives are allowed $250 per day plus expenses when attending AC meetings or participating in the program at a PDP workshop or other SARE meetings.
The AC is recruited to reflect the diversity of the Southern agricultural community. Our AC is notable for its wide range of interests, ideas, and for a collaborative working style, and is known for its willingness to be innovative and explore new ways to promote sustainable agriculture.
One of the most vital roles played by each AC member is that of liaison to groups they represent. Each AC member not only represents SARE to their group, but more importantly, brings to SSARE the information, goals, and ideas from our partners. AC members should be alert to the needs of our constituent groups; what research is needed, what training programs would be most useful.
The role of the AC includes guiding the vision of the program, setting goals, providing feedback from groups and being ambassadors from the program to the region. Each AC member should also be active in SARE-related and sustainable agriculture-related activities in their state.
Interested in sustainable agriculture and are looking to have an impact on sustainable agriculture practices in your community? The Southern SARE program gives producers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) the opportunity to serve on the Administrative Council and provide a “voice” for the direction of sustainability across the Southern region.
An integral component of the grants program is the contribution of the reviewer. Technical reviewers make up a network of researchers, farmers, extension agents, consultants, NRCS personnel, nonprofit representatives, and a wide variety of other agricultural professionals, and are recruited to review grant proposals based on their area of expertise. They offer skill and support to the grant reviewing process through the reviewing and scoring of grant proposals before they reach the Administrative Council for further consideration.
Technical Review Committee members don’t have a scheduled term of service, and it is not unusual for a member of the committee to act first as a reviewer and then fill a vacancy on the Administrative Council.
Southern SARE seeks ag professionals on a regular basis to serve as Technical Reviewers. Be a grant reviewer.
State Ag Coordinators
Through Southern SARE’s Professional Development Program, each Land-Grant institution in the region (1862 and 1890 university) names a representative to serve as the state sustainable ag coordinator. The role of the state coordinators is critical, since they are responsible for the integration of the concepts of sustainable agriculture into daily outreach and extension practices in their respective states. Southern SARE offers an annual appropriation to each land-grant for developing sustainable agriculture curricula for their extension staff. Southern SARE State Ag Coordinators oversee the professional development plan within their state and the SARE money that attaches to it. Visit your state to learn more about your State Ag Coordinators.
The staff in the regional office provides support by managing the overall Southern SARE program, including grant management, report and project monitoring, contracts, outreach, publications, coordination with the national office, record keeping and administrative support. The staff at University of Georgia, Griffin campus currently includes the program director, assistant director, an associate accountant, a communications specialist, and administrative associates. A minority and limited-resource outreach staff specialist is located at Fort Valley State University. Staff for the Professional Development Program is based at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Oklahoma. Contact SSARE staff for questions related to SARE grants, educational resources or administrative support.