The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) recently hired a new associate director. Heather Omand started in the position on February 3, 2020.
As the associate director of Northeast SARE, Omand will manage a wide range of administrative and operational functions as part of the program's leadership team. She succeeds David Holm, who is retiring after managing the program on a day-to-day basis for 20 years.
"I am thrilled to have Heather on board," said Northeast SARE director Vern Grubinger. "She brings a wide range of skills that are needed to keep our program strong into the future. Her financial management experience and her keen interest in diversity, equity and inclusion are especially well suited to our needs as we seek to make Northeast SARE even more efficient and accessible to the wide range of people we serve throughout the region."
Omand comes to the position having served as the marketing and business specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association since 2014. In that role, she developed and managed farm viability education and outreach programs, including a technical assistance grant program for farmers. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Maine and has served on the leadership and grant review committees for statewide food system organizations such as Slow Money Maine and the Maine Technology Institute. Omand and her family also ran a small farm that produced fruits, nuts and a variety of specialty crops.
SARE, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, offers competitive grants to farmers, educators and researchers in twelve Northeast states. University of Vermont Extension houses the program. For more information about Northeast SARE, go to www.northeastsare.org.