About Northeast SARE's Administrative Council

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


There are 20 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:

  • Farmers (typically 4 seats);
  • Environmental nonprofit work;
  • 1890 land grant universities;
  • Agricultural lending;
  • Agricultural business/industry;
  • Social science and social concerns related to farmers and agriculture.
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS);
  • Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resource program leaders;
  • US Environmental Protection Agency;
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS);
  • State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors;
  • Cooperative Extension Deans and Directors;
  • State Departments of Agriculture; and
  • 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. The national SARE office also sends a representative (ex-officio) to AC meetings in each region.

Roles & Responsibilities

A major role of the AC is deciding the types of grants that will be offered and how funds will be distributed among the grant programs. The AC also approves the grant review process and makes the final decisions about grants to be awarded based on the results and recommendations of grant review teams. Most AC members participate in the review process by serving on grant review teams.

The AC performs the following functions:

  • Participates on review teams.
  • Develops and approves procedures and policies.
  • Establishes (or ends) grant programs.
  • Allocates available funds.
  • Approves staffing levels (FTE) and positions.
  • Reviews the host institution and coordinators.
  • Selects the 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 membership meets twice per year, once in mid-to-late February and again in mid-to-late July. 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 several weeks prior to the summer and winter meetings. 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 commitment to prepare for and participate in bi-annual meetings is around 7 days. In addition, AC members can expect 2 to 3 days per year to review grant proposals.

Compensation and Reimbursement

A per diem consultant payment of $300 per day is provided for time served on the Administrative Council. This payment is offered to farmers, self-employed and retired individuals, and representatives of non-profit/nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who are not receiving a salary covering their participation. This payment is intended to cover time while serving on review panels and meetings of the Administrative Council and its subcommittees.

Travel costs (flights, hotel, meals, etc.) to AC meetings are covered either up front by Northeast SARE or as reimbursements.


Please contact Northeast SARE director Vern Grubinger at vernon.grubinger@uvm.edu with questions about the Administrative Council.