Welcome to the national continuing education program in sustainable agriculture presented by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). It emphasizes core concepts and a basic understanding of sustainable agriculture, its goals and its relevance to every farming and ranching operation – large or small.

The core of the national continuing education program is a series of three interactive, online courses The courses are self-paced, allowing you to take them on your own schedule. 

Learning outcomes and objectives are aimed at the broad topics and issues related to sustainable agriculture. Students who want to explore topics in greater depth should follow the multimedia and information links throughout each course, and seek other educational opportunities in their state or region. 

Course 1 - Sustainable Agriculture Principles and Concept Overview

This course explores the conceptual and historical foundations of sustainable agriculture with particular emphasis on its application to the agricultural professional's role in developing science-based information and working with farmers and ranchers on the best approaches to improving their businesses and strengthening rural and urban communities.

Course 2 - Strategic Farm/Ranch Planning and Marketing

This course covers planning and business development, marketing opportunities and strategies for farm/ranch businesses, and managing the farm/ranch business for long-term success. The focus is primarily on farmers in the start-up or transition phases who are interested in exploring new business ideas, management practices and marketing strategies. However, on-going business management, estate planning and farm transfer for clients who have mature businesses or are ready to retire are also discussed.

Course 3 - Agricultural Ecosystem Management

Course 3 focuses on how to apply ecological principles in the management of crop and livestock systems. Major topics include: agroecosystem concepts and principles, key practices in sustainable agriculture, monitoring agroecosystems, and organic agriculture. The course provides a variety of tools and resources to help you better understand how farm and ranch systems can be managed to achieve production goals, enhance stewardship of watersheds and wildlife, and improve farm profitability.

Cost Details

For questions about this course series and the SARE program contact: Kim Kroll, Associate Director National SARE Program 1122 Patapsco Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-6715, (301) 405-9912,


This program is designed primarily for Cooperative Extension and Natural Resource Conservation Service personnel, and is also open to farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural professionals nationwide.

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