State Coordinators' Biographies
Nick is the Portland Metro Area Small Farms Extension Agent for Oregon. He provides general advice for small farms and specializes in Horticultural crops with a focus on vegetables. He edits the OSU Small Farm website and regularly contributes articles to Oregon Small Farm News.
Recently Nick has done applied cover crop research and developed the OSU Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator. He also teaches agricultural composting workshops and is evaluating simple methods for protecting water quality at agricultural composting sites. Nick also organizes beginning farmer training programs in Oregon.
Bob has over twenty five years of extension and adult education experience working with families in agriculture production, farm management and farm family counseling/debt mediation in both Georgia and Guam. He served for four years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines working on agriculture and land tenure issues of tribal minorities. Currently, Bob focuses on agriculture, agricultural economics, agroforestry, and education/outreach. Recent projects/grants involve green waste management, transition from subsistence to commercial agricultural production, regional market channel development, and the Children's Healthy Living Program's obesity prevention activities.
Steve has been an Extension Educator for 20 years. Extension programs that has been involved with include livestock issues, agronomic crop issues, pesticide safety training, soil and water conservation programs, rangeland management, and agri-business management practices. Steve is a Certified Agronomic Crop Advisor as well. In addition, he isnationally certified as an environmental assessor for swine, poultry, dairy, beef, and grazing operations. His assessment expertise has been utilized in designing assessment procedures in Ohio, other Midwestern states, and Florida. Steve serves as the local University of Nevada Reno contact and primary link between University of Nevada Cooperative Extension programming and the citizens in Pershing County. He strives to determine community education priorities, develop relevant curricula, and deliver effective educational programs.
Rick is an agricultural extension agent with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. As part of his regular extension assignment, he has served as the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Coordinator in Arizona since 1994.
With its unique climate and geography, Arizona hosts a wide variety of agricultural opportunities. While many question whether agriculture can be sustainable in a desert, low rainfall climate, various cultures have proved over thousands of years that life can indeed be sustainable in the Southwest. To be successful, however, all people must learn how to carefully live and work with, instead of against, the climate.
In many ways, the Southwest is ideal for the activities of life, including the production of food and fiber. Still, significant hurdles challenge the development of a long-term, sustainable agriculture. Rick and the Arizona Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, working with interested participants throughout the state, strive to understand and help apply the principles of sustainable agriculture in the desert.
Lauren Hunter is an Agriculture Extension Educator for the University of Idaho. Lauren's agriculture research and outreach has helped producers adopt sustainable soil management practices. In southern Idaho, she has helped producers better estimate nutrient availability from dairy compost, a local and abundant nutrient source. Lauren has been with the University of Idaho since 2009. Her educational programs focus on sustainable and organic farming, with a focus on sustainable soil management. She is a primary investigator and collaborator on a number of research projects in southern Idaho. For example, a two-year Western SARE grant allowed Lauren to study optimal cover crops for high-desert farming systems. The research provided producers with information on mixtures of legumes,cereals and brassicas that are beneficial for soil benefits as well as forage potential. These dual-purpose cover crop mixtures help producers justify the cost of incorporating cover crops into a summer fallow or fall, post-harvest cover crop planting. Before her time with the University of Idaho, Lauren worked as the Assistant Director of the Appalachian Center for Mountain Winegrowing with Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
Chad Kruger directs WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center (NWREC) in Mount Vernon and the Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR). He received a B.A. in Philosophy and History and an Academic Certificate in Ecointensive Agriculture Technologies from Northwest College in Kirkland, Washington, and he completed an M.S. in Land Resources from the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He was an Au Sable Graduate Fellow at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He has served on the 2007/2008 Washington State Climate Action Team, co-chairing the Agriculture Sector Carbon Market Workgroup; the 2010 Washington State Climate Change Working Lands Technical Advisory Group; the Washington State Energy Strategy Technical Experts Panel; the Northwest Regional Biocarbon Initiative, and was a Commissioner on the Douglas County Water Conservancy Board. He is currently a member of the Washington Department of Natural Resources Expert Council on Climate Change, a steering committee member for the USDA Northwest Climate Hub, a board member for the Northwest Ag Business Center, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Northwest Environmental Forum. He was raised in Washington State and has family roots in agriculture in both Eastern and Western Washington.
Fabian Menalled is an Assistant Professor in Weed Ecology and Management at Montana State University. His research and extension programs are focused in developing and delivering information on the integrated management of agricultural weeds. Specifically, Fabian is interested in understanding the mechanisms conditioning the abundance, distribution and impacts of annual and perennial weeds in agricultural systems. His research includes weed population and community dynamics, pathogen-weed interactions, crop-weed competition, herbicide resistance and weed management in conventional and alternative cropping systems. Prior to arriving to MSU, Fabian worked in Iowa State University and Michigan State University. He received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts and his B.S. from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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.
As an extension research associate at Utah State University, Bob focuses on soil and water conservation, land use and hydrology. His research plots, located throughout Utah, are related to diversified farming systems, including direct seeding technology, use of animal manures and compost and windbreak establishment. His wide range of research and extension activities also encompasses alternative crops, agroforestry, riparian habitat restoration and range/fire rehabilitation.
Born in Indianapolis ("I was a city boy with an ag background that was 100% consumer"), Bob split his time growing up between Indiana and Southern California. He attended Ricks College (now Brigham Young University-Idaho), earning an associate degree in biological science. He received a bachelor's in soil science and agronomy and a master's in soil conservation and hydrology at Utah State University.
Before returning to USU in 1984, he was plant manager and a salesman for U.S. Steel's Ag Chemical Division in Paul, Idaho, and a soil conservationist with what was then the USDA Soil Conservation Service in Logan, Tremonton and Fillmore, Utah.
He and his wife Maurine have six children, three grandchildren, two dogs and two cats. Bob enjoys gardening (fruit and vegetables), walking, reading and camping.
At Colorado State Steven has program responsibilities for commercial greenhouse production. By partnering with county faculty with similar responsibilities, he maintains a series of educational programs targeting commercial greenhouse growers based on an established needs assessment plan. Those efforts have developed in more recent years into a series of programs co-sponsored by cooperative extension and commodity groups. These collaborative programs are formulated with industry input and utilize recognized speakers, in- and out-of-state, to provide the best educational opportunities in the Rocky Mountain west for green industry professionals. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Production from Montana State University; a M.S. in Horticulture from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Texas A & M University.
William (Bill) Nobles is the Peaks & Plains Regional Director with Colorado State University Extension. He is responsible for 31 counties on the eastern side of Colorado. Bill received his M.S. in Agriculture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California and B.S. in Animal Science from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico. He pursued a Ph.D. in Physiology of Reproduction at Texas A&M University. Bill is presently located in Pueblo Colorado and offers guidance and support to administration, agents, specialists and county commissioners with the overall goal of providing a better quality of life for Coloradoans. Prior to his appointment as Regional Director, Bill served as an agriculture and 4-H agent in Pagosa Springs, Colorado for over 22 years. Bill is a certified “Real Colors” educator and reached youth and adults improving career planning, teambuilding and communication between youth and teachers.
Jackson, Western SARE PDP Coordinator for Micronesia since 1992, was named Program Coordinator for Agriculture and Natural Resources with the College of Micronesia in March 2004. In the position, he assists the vice president of Cooperative Research and Extension in all aspects of program development and evaluation, works to identify financial and other resources and helps establish or strengthen links with local, regional and national agencies and non-governmental organizations. He also coordinates ANR programs within the Federated States of Micronesia. Since 2002, he has been the CSREES Region 9 Water Quality Coordinator for the FSM.
From 1992 to 2004 Jackson was Assistant Campus Director/Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, with responsibility for plans of work, program planning, implementation and evaluation. He coordinated extension activities on Pohnpei from 1990 to 1992, coordinated 4-H youth activities on Pohnpei from 1987 to 1990 and was a research assistant from 1985 to 1987.
Jackson was Assistant State Agriculturist with the Pohnpei State Government from 1982 to 1985 and assists chief from 1980 to 1982. He served from 1972 to 1980 as extension aide for the Division of Agriculture's Department of Resources and Surveillance, conducting training for agricultural extension agents and farmers.
He is a member and former chair of the Pohnpei Soil & Water Conservation District Board, chair of the Pohnpei Invasive Species Task Force and was named chair in 2003 of the Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council.
Among his major accomplishments are establishing procedures for storage and disposal of hazardous materials; assisting with the first insect pest survey for Micronesia; helping coordinate sustainable kava cultivation in lowland agroforestry systems; conducting pesticide application training for employees and farmers; and demonstrating animal waste management systems with NRCS.
Ted Radovich, Ph.D., is an assistant specialist in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). Ted received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from UHM and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. In addition to serving as PDP State Coordinator, Ted co-coordinates the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program at UHM and is principle investigator of the Sustainable and Organic Farming Systems Laboratory. The primary focus of his lab's research are the links between ecological farming practices, yield and crop quality. Ted also teaches multiple classes, including Herbs, Spices and Flavorings, Organic Food Crop Production and Vegetable Crop production.
Steven Seefeldt is an Agriculture and Horticulture Extension Agent with the Cooperative Extension Service at UAF. He completed his B.S. in Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX; his M.S. in Arid Lands Studies at Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX; and his Ph.D. in Agronomy at Washington State University at Pullman, WA. He was a Weed Scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Subarctic Agricultural Research Unit in Fairbanks, AK. In addition, he was a Rangeland Scientist for over four years at the USDA-ARS U. S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, ID; a Weed Scientist in Hamilton, New Zealand for two years with AgResearch; a technician and support scientist for the ARS Non-irrigated Agriculture Weed Science Research Unit in Pullman, WA; a science, math and French teacher at a small secondary school in Nezperce, ID; and Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger.
Jari Sugano is an associate extension agent with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai’i. Her ability to bring together and communicate with farmers, agricultural organizations and communities is one of the hallmarks of Jari’s work and a foundation of her being honored with CTAHR’s 2013 Excellence in Extension Award. Through the LIFE (Local & Immigrant Farmer Education) program, she has brought CTAHR’s research-based information to an underserved group in Hawai‘i, the immigrant farmers. She has also fostered collaborative partnerships between the college, private companies, commodity organizations, numerous state, federal, and county agencies, and the Hawaii Farm Bureau. Jari works on fruit and vegetable trials, CTAHR’s sustainable agriculture research and student projects, pesticide and resistance-management programs, promotion of Hawai‘i-grown products and services, and more. She takes advantage of new social media advances to continue to service CTAHR’s expanding and ever-changing diversified agriculture sector in Hawai‘i and beyond.
Stephanie has served as the Extension Vegetable Specialist in the Extension Plant Sciences Department at New Mexico State University since 2004. In that year she was also named the Western SARE Professional Development Coordinator for New Mexico. Her duties include extension and research activities designed to advance vegetable production in the state. She works with commercial and private vegetable growers and related industries, providing information and training to enhance sustainability and profitability through a variety of activities. Extension programs include chile and onion field days, workshops, conferences and working group meetings. She also chairs the yearly Workshop in Sustainable Agriculture that trains agricultural professionals in key topics of importance around the state. Her primary research interests include genetics and breeding of chile peppers, vegetable mechanization, enhancing pigment content, post-harvest quality and irrigation efficiency.
Stephanie was first exposed to agricultural field work when she accepted a co-op job as a cotton pest field scout while working on her B.S. degree. She completed her degree in biology, specializing in microbiology, from New Mexico State University in 1984. She accepted the position of Quality Control Supervisor with Pet Inc. at its Old El Paso processing facility in Anthony, Texas in 1985. After 10 years of experience and positions of increasing responsibility in the food processing industry, Stephanie joined NMSU?s Chile Pepper Breeding program, where she studied the genetics of resistance to phytophthora root rot and foliar blight in Capsicum annuum. After earning an M.S. in Horticulture, she accepted the position of Research Specialist in the Agronomy and Horticultural Department at NMSU, working on post-harvest vegetable physiology and breeding sweet onions and paprika. Stephanie completed her Ph.D. in Agronomy in 2007, studying the impact of cultivar attributes on mechanical harvest efficiency in paprika.
Stephanie has two children and has resided in Las Cruces, New Mexico since 1973.
Cinda is the University of Idaho's Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator, working on the Moscow campus in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She has worked in sustainable agriculture at the college since 1994and has served as the Western SARE liaison for Idaho since 1996.
Cinda helps to organize and conduct professional development workshops, tours and conferences related to sustainable agriculture, including composting, direct marketing, organic production, soil quality, and agricultural entrepreneurship. She has helped develop satellite broadcasts, videos and curriculum related to sustainable agriculture education and has been a reviewer for all three types of SARE grants.
Cinda was a co-founder of Rural Roots, a nonprofit small acreage farming group in Northern Idaho and eastern Washington, serving as technical advisor since 1999. She has helped form a longstanding collaboration between Rural Roots and University of Idaho Extension, including organizing and offering multiple workshops, farm tours and small farm conferences and helping to garner support for several grant funded projects including a USDA IFAFS Direct Marketing for Small Farms research grant, a Higher Education Challenge Grant to develop a certificate program for Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching and a Western SARE PDP grant for outreach and training on the Cultivating Success curriculum.
In addition to her work with SARE and Rural Roots, she is currently co-leader of the UI CALS Small Acreage Team and is also the state co-coordinator for the USDA Small Farm Program. She teaches a course for UI students and community members on "Sustainable Small Acreage Farming and Ranching" and is a co-instructor for WSU/UI summer field course on "Field Analysis of Sustainable Food Systems."
Cinda received both her B.S. and M.S. degrees from U of Idaho in Plant Science/Horticulture. Her previous work experience includes four years as a Horticulture and 4-H Extension Educator, four years in a Forest Service Soil Health laboratory and two years as a Horticulturist at a plant nursery. Cinda lives with her husband and two boys in Troy, Idaho.
Tara Zimmerman is an Associate in Research at Washington State University with the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR). Tara has been with Washington State University since 2002. As a county-based extension educator (2003-2009) Tara promoted sustainable land and water use practices and the enhancement of King County’s natural resource base through volunteer education and public outreach. In her current role as associate in research, Tara’s work focuses on technology and ways to engage audiences in the cutting-edge research supported by the CSANR.
Tara earned her B.A. in Biology from Whitman College in 1996 and M.S. in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry from University of Washington in 2003. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Solomon Islands from 1997 to 1999, where she taught science and mathematics in secondary school.