Northeast SARE Administrative Council

The Administrative Council (AC) is the governance body for Northeast SARE. It sets program policy and direction and makes funding allocation decisions.

Serving on the Northeast SARE Administrative Council is not an insignificant commitment, but in addition to being a public service, it is also a personally rewarding experience. Over the years members have consistently expressed a deep appreciation for their time on the Council. Serving on the AC connects you to a network of innovative projects and remarkable people from across the region. It allows you to contribute to decisions that affect the allocation of a lot of financial resources. And it keeps you abreast of issues, opportunities and emerging trends affecting our food system.


There are 22 seats on the AC; seats are intended to represent a broad constituency of the agricultural community in the Northeast. Some seats are designated by the SARE’s enabling legislation and others have been added to ensure representation of SARE's stakeholders. Seats include:

  • 1890 land grant universities;
  • Agricultural business/industry;
  • Agricultural lending;
  • Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resource program leaders;
  • Cooperative Extension Deans and Directors;
  • Environmental nonprofit work;
  • Farmers (4 seats);
  • Organization representing migrant farm employees;
  • Social science and quality of life in agriculture.
  • State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors;
  • State Departments of Agriculture;
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS);
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS);
  • USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), ex-officio
  • US Environmental Protection Agency;
  • United States Geological Survey;

In addition, there is a seat for the director of the Northeast IPM Center and for a state SARE coordinator liaison.

Roles & Responsibilities

Within the guidelines established by Congress and the USDA, The AC has the authority to decide what types of grants will be offered and how funds will be distributed among the grant programs. The AC also approves the grant review procedures and makes decisions about slates of grant proposals to be funded based on the results and recommendations of grant review teams. AC members participate directly in the review process by serving on grant review teams. AC members also serve on committees and work groups related to the implementation of Northeast SARE’s strategic plan for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.  The work of the AC is done in support of the Northeast region’s vision, or Outcome Statement, the region’s Values Statement, and the national SARE vision.  

The AC performs the following functions:

  • Participates on review teams.
  • Develops and approves procedures and policies.
  • Establishes (or ends) grant programs.
  • Allocates available funds by approving annual budgets.
  • Approves staffing levels and positions.
  • Reviews the host institution and regional director performance.
  • Takes part in selecting a new director when there is a transition.


All AC members serve a four-year term, with the option of renewing their term for an additional two years.


The AC meets twice per year in person, once in mid-to-late February and again in mid-to-late July. The AC also meets remotely twice per year, for one day in spring and in autumn. The purpose of these meetings is to decide on grant awards, set policy, and make outreach, evaluation and other programmatic decisions. In advance of each meeting, a binder of confidential information is prepared and distributed to each AC member. The binder contains details of what will be discussed and, in some cases, voted on at the meetings.

Time Commitment

It is estimated that the time needed to prepare for and participate in AC meetings is around 8 days per year. In addition, AC members can expect to spend 2 to 4 days per year reviewing grant proposals and attending remote grant review team meetings.

Compensation and Reimbursement

A per diem consultant payment of $387 per 7.5 hour day ($51.60/hour) is provided for all time spent in service on the Administrative Council, including meetings, grant reviews, and committee work, etc . This payment is offered to anyone who does not receive a salary covering their participation.

Travel costs (flights, hotel, meals, etc.) to AC meetings are covered by Northeast SARE for all AC members.


Please contact Northeast SARE director Teresa Leslie at [email protected] with questions about the Administrative Council.

Members of Northeast SARE's Administrative Council

Current Council members include farmers, agency personnel, Extension and nonprofit staff, researchers, industry representatives and others from across the Northeast, as follows.

[last updated 11.2023]

Joe Atchison
New Jersey Department of Agriculture
Trenton, NJ

Kristy Borrelli
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
College Park, MD

Kafi Dixon
Seeds of Change Solidarity Network; Women of Color Rural & Urban Cooperative
Dorchester, MA

Sarah Goslee
University Park, PA

Deb Grantham
Northeast IPM Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

Amy Guptill
The College of Brockport, State University of New York
Brockport, NY

Ronnie Helmondollar
West Virginia University Extension Service
Morgantown, WV

Beth Holtzman
University of Vermont Extension
Berlin, VT
[state SARE coordinator liaison]

Stacy Kubofcik
Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO)
Catonsville, MD

Amy Loader
University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Durham, NH

Ashley Madea
Ecocert ICO, LLC
Fayston, VT

Kwame Matthews
Delaware State University
Dover, DE

Vance Owens
USDA NIFA Institute of Food Production and Sustainability
Kansas City, MO

Hannah Sanders
Philadelphia, PA

Alexander Soroka
US Geological Survey
Baltimore, MD

Cassius Spears
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service of Rhode Island
Warwick, RI

Lawrence Wheeler
Versailles, NY

Bryan Wright
Sacred Kolors
Baltimore, MD

Bari Zeiger
Buffalo, NY