(May 2, 2019 – Piketon, OH)
The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Center for Cooperatives has recently been recommended to receive a $3,946 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) for the project, “Cooperative Student Leadership Experience Pilot.”
“The Cooperative Student Leadership Experience Pilot is an immersive program for high school students to learn about the cooperative business model, agricultural education and careers,” said Hannah Scott program manager for the Center for Cooperatives. She explained that for this Cooperative Leadership Experience project, the Center will be coordinating a two-day educational program, visit to OSU’s CFAES, and cooperative industry tour for students enrolled in the Agriculture Business Management program at the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center (OVCTC).
Scott, and Joy Bauman, Program Coordinator for the Center for Cooperatives, have been working with the OVCTC Agriculture Business Management students and program instructor, Luke Rhonemus to transition management of the school district’s 300-acre farm into a student-managed cooperative, providing students with the opportunity to learn about the cooperative business model while operating a working farm. “I am looking forward to taking the students on the tour this fall to visit cooperative businesses and the Ohio State campus, and help them learn about career opportunities in agriculture and in cooperatives,” said Bauman.
This grant was awarded as part of NCR-SARE’s Youth Educator Program, which supports educators who seek to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth.
The focus for each of the NCR-SARE grant programs is on research and education. Funding considerations are based on how well the applicant presents the problem being addressed, the project’s relevance to sustainable agriculture in the 12-state North Central region, and how well it aligns with NCR-SARE’s goals, among other factors specific to each grant program.
NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council (AC) members decide which projects will receive SARE funds. The AC includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in the region. Council members hail from regional farms and ranches, the Cooperative Extension Service, universities, federal agencies, and nonprofits.
Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. The program, part of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funds projects and conducts outreach designed to improve agricultural systems.