SDSU Extension hires Sarah Sellars as new farm, food systems specialist

Sarah Sellars

BROOKINGS — South Dakota State University Extension has welcomed Sarah Sellars as a new specialist in sustainable farm and food systems.

In her role, Sellars will research sustainable farm and food systems in South Dakota and use that research to provide related programming. She is also an assistant professor and will be based on the SDSU campus in Brookings.

“South Dakota farmers and ranchers are using many sustainable agriculture practices, and I am excited to study the impacts of these practices and help position farmers and ranchers to benefit from ecosystem market opportunities,” Sellars said.

Sellars grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Illinois. As an active member of 4-H, she participated in sewing projects and showing crops, pigs, cattle and cats. She received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and consumer economics with a concentration in farm management from the University of Illinois.

She then received a master’s in agricultural economics from Purdue University and a doctorate in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Illinois. Prior to joining SDSU Extension, Sellars developed an Extension program for Illinois farmers called “Carbon Markets 101” to share carbon market opportunities and answer producer questions.

“We are excited to have Sarah Sellars join our SDSU Extension team. She will fill a critical need by evaluating the economics of sustainable agriculture practices,” said Sandy Smart, SDSU Extension agriculture and natural resources senior program leader/professor. “Does conservation pay? Are we accurately accounting for the ecosystem services farmers and ranchers provide? These are important questions of our day, and Sarah can help our team affect positive change in South Dakota’s agricultural production sector.”

For more information, contact Sellars at 605-688-4873.