Jim is an Applications Programmer in the IT Services Department of Utah State University Extension. His responsibilities include building and maintaining administrative information systems, web server management, general technical support, technology research and some teaching. Jim works with Western SARE to create and upkeep the online submission and process of grants. Jim has a Master’s degree in Soil Science and Biometeorology from Utah State University.
Stacie joined Western SARE as the Communications Specialist in 2009. Prior to beginning her work as Communications Specialist, she held the non-profit representative seat on the Western SARE Administrative Council for seven years. Stacie directed or consulted with a variety of sustainable food and farming organizations in California since 1999, including the California Coalition for Food and Farming, Ecological Farming Association, California Certified Organic Farmers, and Roots of Change. Stacie has a B.A. in English from UC Davis.
Steve Elliott is a partner in Elliott & Nelson, a full-service communications agency that has provided high-quality writing and outreach services throughout Northern California since 2004. Their clients have included some of the region’s largest companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. With roots in the San Joaquin Valley, home of a vibrant and diverse agricultural industry, their clients reflect that agricultural heritage. Steve is currently the communication coordinator for the Western Integrated Pest Management Center, a USDA-funded regional program that covers the same 13 Western states and Pacific Island Territories as Western SARE.
Jim Freeburn has served as the Western SARE Professional Development Coordinator for many years. Jim previously held positions at research centers and with extension for the University of Wyoming but is now working solely for Western SARE. He provides oversight and guidance for the state and protectorate PDP coordinators and their activities and manages the PDP competitive grants program. Jim’s educational background is in wildlife and agricultural economics. His passions are his family and the outdoors, especially mule deer, cattle and the wide-open spaces of western North America.
Nicole Hansen joined the Western SARE Staff in September 2016 as the Business Assistant. Working with Sue McCormick, Nicole helps manage grant awards and accounts. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in Business and worked for local government entities for six years. Nicole’s passions include training racehorses with her husband, camping, hunting, and helping manage family farms.
Al serves as Associate Coordinator of Western SARE's Professional Development Program, a position he has held since October 1994. He also helps with Western SARE and other regions on planning and evaluation issues. Al also works as a Program Specialist for the National Center for Appropriate Technology's Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) project.
Sue McCormick works for Western SARE as a part of her assignment as a business manager for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at Utah State University. She has been a part of USU’s administrative support team since 1994. Working in tandem with Kristi Jensen, she is responsible for the administration of the grant awards and management of accounts.
Rhonda is the Agricultural Environmental Quality Extension specialist where she works on waste management, water quality, and air quality issues. She also serves as the director of the AgrAbility of Utah program, providing analysis and adaptive technologies helping farmers and ranchers with disabilities remain in agriculture. Her research focuses upon nutrient cycling and environmental impacts in agricultural systems. She has published on topics as varied as phosphorus and nitrogen management, wastewater treatment, farming with chronic health conditions, and ATV safety. She was raised on a family farm where she says her father deeply engrained the concern and passion for sustainability in her.
Bob has been the Utah Professional Development coordinator for Western SARE since 1995 and Deputy Coordinator since 1997. His deputy duties include managing the Calls for Proposals for the Research and Education, Graduate Student, Farmer/Rancher and Professional + Producer programs and all of the activities related to the proposal review process. That includes initiating the requests for proposals, handling queries, facilitating the reviews and assisting the Administrative Council in their funding deliberations.
Working at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Joleen has been the Western SARE Professional Development Program contracts manager since September 2003. As a senior accounting associate for the PDP, she reviews state/territory proposal budgets, writes the subcontract agreements, and sets up and closes out the projects. Joleen also maintains the program's administrative accounts and the SARE/NACAA Fellows budgets. Joleen received her Associate's degree from Laramie County Community College, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in accounting. She and her husband Rick enjoy camping and fishing.
Dr. Phil Rasmussen served as the coordinator of Western SARE from December 1993 to July 2014 and has been associated with National SARE since 1988, having served on the first SAN Committee. He also served as an assistant director in both the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station and the Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service. In 1999, Phil was appointed as the first NASA geospatial extension specialist in the nation.
Phil received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Utah State University and his Doctoral degree at Kansas State University. Currently, he and his wife, Linda, are now serving as church service missionaries on humanitarian farming operations in Europe and the Americas.
Jill E. West joined Western SARE in October 2013. She works half-time for Western SARE. Jill earned her Associates of Art Degree from Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyoming. With her two daughters, she lives in Torrington. Jill enjoys spending time with her daughters and their sporting events, as well as golfing, camping, and fishing.