Administrative Council

The Administrative Council, 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, guides programming, and reviews and evaluates grant proposals. The term of membership on the AC is normally three years, with the opportunity to serve two terms.

The AC is composed of 23 members: 12 selected by the AC through an open nomination process serving 3-year terms (renewable for a second term), and 11 members who are appointed by our partner agencies. These agencies include 1890 Extension institutions, 1890 Research institutions, 1862 Extension institutions, 1862 Research institutions, State Departments of Agriculture, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Forest Service, 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.

 

Producer Members

Julia Asherman

Julia Asherman is owner/operator of Rag & Frass Farm, a diversified farming operation in Jeffersonville, GA growing a large and diverse selection of food and flowers. Asherman turned an old motel and neglected pasture into a diversified 3-acre farm complete with laying hens and family livestock. The farm utilizes mulches, cover crops, crop rotation, compost, no-till and limited tillage to achieve long-term sustainability.

Contact:

Rag & Frass Farm
15176 US Hwy 80
Jeffersonville, GA 31044

ragandfrassfarm@gmail.com

Felicia Bell

Felicia Bell is owner/operator of RD&S Farm, LLC in Brandon, Mississippi. RD & S Farm is a diversified farming operation with fruit, nut, vegetable and lamb production. Felicia Bell offers educational materials, workshops and consultations on sustainable agriculture practices. Bell also serves as an agriculture specialist in NCAT's Gulf States Regional Office, offering technical assistance and outreach.

Contact:

RD&S Farm, LLC
134 Mattie Burnett Cir.
Brandon, MS 39047

rdsfarm@gmail.com

Dan Glenn

Dan Glenn is the managing director of Deep Grass Graziers, a commercial cow calf and registered seedstock operation focused on forage finished genetics, and also serves as director of his family’s 1200 acre row crop operation.  He is a partner in Sustainable Genetics, an international seedstock marketing business, and the managing director and founder of True South Seeds, a CBD hemp company located in Tennessee.  Dan serves on the national boards of the American Forage and Grassland Council, and the National Grazing Lands Coalition. He also serves as President of the Georgia Forage and Grass Land Council.

Contact:

600 Meadowlark Road
Fitzgerald, GA 31750

dan@deepgrassgraziers.com

Tashel Martin

Tashel Martin is a fourth generation farmer who runs an urban farming business that utilizes organic practices named Mama Isis Farm & Market in the city of New Orleans, LA. Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers (some that are edible) are grown on the urban farm and then sold wholesale directly to consumers and local businesses.  Nonetheless, added value items are created from the items that are grown such as teas, infusions, cough syrup, and other self care products. 

Contact:

5631 Christian Lane
New Orleans, LA 70126

mamaisis504@gmail.com

Tim Miller

Tim Miller owns and operates Millberg Farm, a certified organic farm utilizing dryland farming practices. Miller raises only heirloom crops with over 140 fruit trees. He specializes in alternative farming techniques, and is active in seed saving and growing of transplants. Miller runs one of the first and oldest CSAs in Texas.

Contact:

737 Opal Lane
Kyle, TX 78640

millbergfarm@austin.rr.com

Tenisio Seanima

Tenisio Seanima is the founder of Nature's Candy Farms, a metro-Atlanta farm delivering certified organic, non-GMO produce, eggs and other items. Seanima practices permaculture techniques on his farm. He sits on the City-Agriculture-Plan Steering Committee for the City of East Point and coaches property owners in sustainable gardening techniques via his consulting enterprise. Seanima served as a member of the National Young Farmers Coalition, and has a history with SARE, serving on an advisory committee and participating as a grant reviewer.

Contact:

Nature's Candy Farms
795 Miller Run
Atlanta, GA 30349

naturescandyfarms@gmail.com

Maria Dominique Villanueva

Maria Dominique Villanueva (she/her) is the co-founder of Fountain Heights Farms, a BIPOC-centered urban farm in Birmingham, AL.  Fountain Heights Farms provides fresh produce to over 50 neighbors and the wider community each week from April through December. Dominique has spent her career in various settings but has always focused on health and justice for marginalized communities. In addition to her justice work, she is also involved in local mutual aid work, is on the board of the RAFI - USA, works with the Alabama Hub of Gulf South for a Green New Deal, and is a coalition member with Hunger-Free Alabama.  

Contact:

Fountain Heights Farms
1201 16th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35204

mdv@fountainheightsfarms.com

 

 

NGO Representatives

Bonita Clemons

Bonita Clemons is the founder of Dianne's Call, a non-profit organization that connects families to fresh fruits and vegetables. The organization optimizes community health through education and access to healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods. Programs introduce and teach about sustainable farming and farm practices.

Contact:

1420 Brennen Road
Columbia, S.C. 29260

bonitaclemons@gmail.com

Patrick Lillard

Patrick Lillard serves as a Southern SARE NGO representative on the Administrative Council. He is the vice president for the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (www.tofga.org), and has been involved with sustainable agriculture, conservation, and education in a variety of positions for the past 15 years. He worked on dairies and large acreage grain farms in Australia and New Zealand, and managed a diversified farm in Waco. He earned a B.A. in English, M.S. in Horticulture, and Ph.D. in Agricultural Education. He is also working with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension as a communications specialist.

Contact:

1407 Angelina Circle
College Station, TX 77840

ptlillard@gmail.com

Julius Tillery

Julius Tillery serves on the Administrative Council as an NGO representative. He works for The Conservation Fund as a farm resources coordinator for the organization's Resourceful Communities program and business developer for the National Capital Investment Fund. His work focuses on helping under-served farmers connect to market outlets and resources to improve farm production. Julius has served on the NC A&T Cooperative Extension Small Farmer of the Year committee and is on the advisory board for the Town of Garysburg. Julius is a 5th generation family farmer, growing and selling collards and various green salad varieties at the Garysburg Farmers Market.

Contact:

4324 Pin Oak Drive
Durham, NC 27707

julius.tillery@gmail.com

 

Quality of Life Representative

Carrie Furman

Carrie Furman is an assistant research scientist and environmental anthropologist with the University of Georgia.

Furman began her UGA career working with the Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC) on multi-disciplinary projects with the aim of fostering stakeholder adaptive capacity by assessing the relevance, accessibility, and usefulness of climate-based decision support tools and information through sustained community engagement. Furman conducted research with key stakeholder groups including, extension agents and row-crop producers as part of a USDA NIFA grant. She also spearheaded research and outreach funded by RMA and NOAA SARP with organic and African American producers. In 2014, Furman was principal investigator of a USDA SARE-funded project that investigated producer experiences with food hubs in Georgia. Research examined whether and how different food hub models contribute to the expansion of sustainable food systems, rural development and farmers’ quality of life. She has continued researching local food supply chains with Georgia Organics for the purpose of facilitating market relations between local farmers, distributors, and Early Care Centers. Currently, she is part of the Floridan Aquifer Collaborative Engagement for Sustainability (FACETS) team that brings scientists and stakeholders together in a participatory process to develop knowledge needed to explore tradeoffs between the regional agricultural economy and environmental quality. She has published in Climatic Change, Agriculture and Human Values, Climate Risk Management, among others.  

Contact:

University of Georgia
cfurman@uga.edu

 

 

Agribusiness

Sandi Kronick

Sandi Kronick is a co-founder and CEO of Happy Dirt (formally Eastern Carolina Organics), whose mission is to cultivate a sustainable food system by providing a viable production and distribution network to customers and farmers.  Prior to launching ECO in 2004, Kronick has worked for many years building sustainable business relationships between organic growers and buyers, starting off in the sustainable food scene as the Local Food Coordinator for a 700-member cooperative in Ohio and later working as Sustainable Foods Consultant to restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 2010, Kronick received a “40 Under 40” regional business leadership award and traveled to Chile on behalf of the Chilean Trade Commission to speak to farmers about the U.S. organic marketplace.

Contact:

Happy Dirt
2210 East Pettigrew Street
Durham, NC 27703

sandi@happydirt.com

 

1890 Extension

Raymon Shange

Raymon Shange is Assistant Dean for Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension and Director of the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center. He is also associate professor of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences.

Contact:

209 Morrison Mayberry Hall
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL 36083

rshange@tuskegee.edu

 

1862 Extension

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is Senior Associate Vice President for Extension at the University of Arkansas.

Contact:

2301 South University Avenue
University of Arkansas
Little Rock, AR 72204-4940

bscott@uaex.edu

 

1890 Research

Ralph Noble

Ralph Noble is the dean of the College of Agriculture, Family Science and Technology at Fort Valley State University. In this role, he guides the college’s global leadership in key areas such as plant science and small ruminants and the expansion of academic programming and research in cutting-edge fields such as genome decoding, biotechnology, bioinformatics, renewable energy production, and sustainability. 

Contact:

1005 State University Dr.
Fort Valley, GA 31030

ralph.noble@fvsu.edu

 

1862 Research

Nathan Slaton

Nathan Slaton is associate VP and Director of Soil Testing at Bumpers College Crops, Soil and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas.

Contact:

1371 West Altheimer Drive
DTAS 217
Fayetteville, AR 72704

nslaton@uark.edu

 

USDA-ARS

Joan Burke

Joan Burke is a research animal scientist for USDA-ARS, located at the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center at the University of Arkansas.

Burke received a PhD in reproductive biology at Oregon State University, a Master’s in animal science from the University of Maine, and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Burke has been with USDA-ARS since 1999 where she has conducted research on the control of gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep and goats. Her program focuses on addressing problems of small and mid-size farmers including: organic and grass-fed production systems for ruminant livestock, alternatives to synthetic anthelmintics which includes specialty forages, genetic and genomic selection for parasite resistant animals that are also great producers, nutrition and products such as copper oxide wire particles. She was co-recipient of a patent on the use of sericea lespedeza to control parasites in animals, and her team received the 2016 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, and the 2015 ARS Southeast Area Technology Transfer Award for the development of technology to aid in the control of internal parasites in sheep and goats. She works closely with producers conducting research and disseminating results. She is one of the founding members of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, which began in 2001. She is no stranger to the SARE program, having received multiple SARE grants over her research career.

Contact:

USDA-ARS
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
6883 South State Highway 23
Booneville, AR 72927

joan.burke@usda.gov

 

USDA-NRCS

Terrance Rudolph

Contact:

State Conservationist
NRCS
355 East Hancock Ave.
Stop Number 200
Athens, GA 30601

terrance.rudolph@usda.gov

 

EPA

Susan Park

Susan Park is regional ag advisor for Region 4, which covers Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.

Contact:

US EPA, Region 4
Office of the Regional Administrator, 14th Floor
61 Forsyth Street SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

park.susan@epa.gov

 

USDA Forest Service-Agroforestry

Annie Hermansen-Baez

Contact:

Science Delivery/Program Coordinator
USDA Forest Service
Southern Research Station
236 Mowry Rd.
Gainesville, FL 32611-0806

annie.hermansen@usda.gov

 

 

USDA-NIFA

Kirsty Borrelli 

Contact:

University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742-6715
Phone: 301.405.9912

assoc_dir@sare.org

Vance Owens

Contact:

National Program Leader
Institute of Food Production and Sustainability
USDA-NIFA
Kansas City, MO

vance.owens@usda.gov


US Geological Survey

Vacant


State Departments of Agriculture

Joe Hatton

Contact:

West Virginia Department of Agriculture
270 Mylan Park Lane, Box 13
Morgantown, WV 26501

jhatton@wvda.us