Livestock/dairy specialist a national sustainable ag fellow

Kerr-90MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – Susan Kerr is one of four extension educators selected from 40 applicants nationwide as a 2015-17 sustainable agriculture fellow.

“In my application to the program, I mentioned the goal of developing a sustainable livestock curriculum; so I certainly hope to accomplish that – with the help of collaborators,” said the livestock and dairy extension specialist at the Washington State University Mount Vernon Research Center.

The fellows are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Susan Kerr checks on the progress of a newly planted alfalfa field at the WSU Mount Vernon Research Center. (Photo by Kim Binczewski, WSU Mount Vernon)

Fellows participate in seminars and visits to selected farms and ranches nationwide with a focus on basic sustainable agriculture strategies and how they work in the field.

“We’ll have reading and writing assignments, webinars, virtual discussions and other educational opportunities,” Kerr said, “and we’ll be expected to write publications and make presentations about what we learn.

“Sustainability in agriculture involves environmental, societal and financial considerations,” she said. “When we talk about livestock, we need to consider animal welfare factors as well. I hope to share what I learn and continue to learn from others through discussion sessions in which producers compare results of different management practices and share successes and challenges as they work toward sustainability, as they define it.”

Find more information about the fellowship at

Susan Kerr, WSU Northwest Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist, 360-848-6151,