Professional Development Program
The Western SARE Professional Development Program (PDP), begun in 1994, administers grants aimed at helping Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service and other agricultural professionals within agencies and nonprofit organizations increase their understanding of and proficiency in sustainable agriculture. The program strongly encourages cooperative learning opportunities involving both producers and professionals.
The program is based at the University of Wyoming with coordination from throughout the western region. Members of the PDP team are Coordinator Jim Freeburn and Associate Coordinator Al Kurki, Accounting Associate Joleen Pantier and Office Associate Kelly Greenwald.
Freeburn and Greenwald are headquartered at the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) in southeast Wyoming near Lingle. Kurki is in Helena, Montana, and Joleen Pantier is on the campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. In addition, the PDP staff works with 17 State PDP Coordinators in the region's 13 states and four Pacific island protectorates.
The Western SARE Professional Development Program is committed to serving the educational needs of sustainable agriculture in the Western region. If you have questions, observations or concerns, we want to hear them. Please contact us.
Downloadable sample forms intended as examples or templates for state/protectorate PDP coordinators who use mini-grants or travel scholarships as educational tools for agricultural professionals. Job description can also be found here.
The variety and breadth of PDP grants reflect the geographic and agricultural diversity of the far-flung Western Region.
A state PDP coordinator represents each of the thirteen states and four U.S. Pacific island protectorates that are part of the Western region. The state coordinators assist in promoting sustainable agriculture locally through noncompetitive state grants operated through SARE's Professional Development Program and through promotion of SARE-funded project results.
Short profiles of state/protectorate educational activities, products and outcomes in sustainable agriculture, using Western SARE PDP funds.
In 2005 and 2009, Western SARE conducted a study of Western state/protectorate extension educators' knowledge, programming and information needs in sustainable agriculture. This 2010 report shares the results of over 600 Extension educators who have agriculture and natural resource assignments. Western SARE uses the results (in part) to determine Professional Development Program (PDP) priorities.
SARE-sponsored professional development programs.