This Association shall be known as the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association.

ARTICLE II. Mission Statement

The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (Association) promotes and supports the development, application, research, and exchange of best teaching and learning practices in sustainable agriculture education and curricula through communication, training, development, and collaborative activities for teachers and learners. The Association is organized exclusively for education purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The goals of the Association are as follows:

Promote and advocate the establishment of sustainable agriculture education programs.
Promote the collaborative development and exchange of curricula, best educational and experiential learning practices, and research related to the teaching and learning of sustainable agriculture.
Provide public forums for addressing issues in sustainable agriculture education teaching and learning.
Serve as a vibrant network for individuals and organizations involved in sustainable agriculture education.
Engage in activities to aid the professional development of sustainable agriculture educators and students.
Serve as an advocate for sustainable agriculture in other contexts and in collaboration with other organizations relevant to sustainable agriculture education.
Obtain public and private funds to collaboratively develop and exchange sustainable agriculture education and curricula at all educational levels and with the general public.
Attract talented, bright individuals to teach and work in the field of sustainable agriculture.
Contribute to the growth of sustainable agriculture in the U.S. and abroad (within grassroots and educational institutions, farms, businesses etc.).

ARTICLE IV. Functions

The functions of the Association are as follows:

Provide opportunities (workshops, symposia, conferences, short courses, etc.) to learn about and develop sustainable agriculture education programs.
Maintain a bibliography and/or library of sustainable agriculture education curriculum materials.
Publish a newsletter to share information about sustainable agricultural education information.
Host national conferences to provide forums for professional development, networking, advocacy activities and publishing of proceedings.
Publish a series, journal or other publication, independently or with other organizations, to publicize scholarly research on sustainable agriculture education.
Advocate for resources to promote sustainable agriculture education.
Communicate with high school and college students about the opportunities within sustainable agriculture education.
Maintain an organizational web site for communication and exchange of sustainable agriculture education information.

ARTICLE V. Definitions

“Sustainable Agriculture” herein is defined as food and agricultural systems that are environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsible, non-exploitative, humane, and that serve as a foundation for future generations.”

ARTICLE VI. Statement of Values

In keeping with the values implicit in sustainable agriculture, the SAEA actively supports:

A focus on learning and the development of communities of co-learners.
The democratization of knowledge and learning.
Diversity in our ideas, philosophies, pedagogies, and learning and teaching strategies and methods.
Active debate, questioning and critical analysis within and among our institutions, programs and curricula.
Active and democratic participation of diverse stakeholders in the Association.
Depth and breadth in explorations and discussions about agriculture and sustainability.
Excellence and professionalism in our activities, programs, research, and scholarship.
Full representative diversity and non-discrimination in SAEA membership, activity, governance, and engagement with society

ARTICLE VII. Membership and Dues

Any person who is interested in the mission and goals of the Association may become a member upon application and payment of dues.

Section 1. The categories of membership in the Association are as follows:
(a) Individual. Any person may become an Individual Member of the Association by paying the designated annual dues.
(b) Student. Any graduate or undergraduate student actively pursuing a degree may become a Student Member by paying the designated annual dues.
(c) International Individual. Any individual whose citizenship is not of the United States may become an International Member by paying the designated annual dues.
(d) International Student. Any graduate or undergraduate student whose citizenship is not of the United States may become an International Student Member by paying the designated annual dues.
(e) Honorary. The Steering Council shall have the power to designate as Honorary Members any individuals or institutions who have in any way advanced the Association’s aims. Honorary Members shall have no financial obligations to the Association.
(f) Life Member. Individuals who pay the designated life membership rate shall have no further obligations for due payments over their lifetime.

Section 2. The dues for each class of membership shall be fixed by the Steering Council. The payment of dues shall constitute membership in good standing in the Association.

Section 3. Membership categories shall be periodically reviewed by the Steering Council. Proposed changes shall be presented to the membership and acted upon by a vote of the membership.

Section 4. Members shall enjoy the following privileges and any others instituted by the Association:

(a) All Individual, Student, International Individual, International Student, individual Honorary, and Life Members in good standing shall receive publications of the Association and shall be eligible to vote in the elections and referenda of the Association.
(b) All International Student Members in good standing shall be considered equivalent to Student Members in their eligibility to vote for, or serve in, and Student Member positions on the Steering Council, Nominating Committee, or other Association committees or boards with such positions.

ARTICLE VIII. Officeholders

Section 1. The officeholders of the Association shall consist of:
(a) The Vice-Chair, elected for a term of one year; to become
(b) The Chair for a term of one year; to become
(c) The Past-Chair for a term of one year;
(d) The Secretary, elected for a term of two years;
(e) The Treasurer, elected for a term of two years;
(f) Three Member Representatives, each elected for terms of two years in an overlapping system;
(g) Three Student Representatives, each elected for terms of two years in an overlapping system; and,
(h) The Steering Council shall also have the authority to appoint to the Council, every year, one Association member drawn from a group within the Association that the Council wants to ensure is represented on the Council, for a term of two years.

Section 2. These officeholders (Section 1, paragraphs A-H) shall constitute the Steering Council.

Section 3. All Members of the Association shall be eligible to serve in any office of the Steering Council, except for position (g), which shall be open only to Student members.

Section 4. The terms for all officeholders, except the Secretary and Treasurer, shall be terminal in each position. Officeholders may be elected to other offices after the end of their terms.

Section 5. The Vice-Chair shall:
(a) Succeed to the office of Chair for a term of one year at the expiration of the term as Vice-Chair; and
(b) Assume the duties of the Chair in the event of the absence, death, resignation or incapacity of the Chair; and,
(c) In the event that the Vice-Chair resigns, dies, or is otherwise unable to perform the duties of Vice-Chair or succeed to the office of Chair, the Steering Council shall appoint replacement to serve until the next annual election.

Section 6. The Chair shall:
(a) Serve as the presiding officeholder of the Association and exercise all the duties and responsibilities as stated in these By-laws; and,
(b) Succeed to the office of past-Chair for a term of one year at the expiration of the term as Chair.

Section 7. The Past-Chair shall:
(a) Serve for a term of one year;
(b) Assume the duties of interim Vice-Chair in the case that the Vice-Chair dies or resigns or is otherwise unable to fulfill the duties of this position, until the Steering Council can choose a replacement; and,
(c) Serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee (see Article IX)

Section 8. The Secretary shall:
(a) Keep full and accurate records of all business and proceedings of the Steering Council in regular and special meetings as well as general information related to Association activities;
(b) Maintain all records and, upon leaving office, make necessary arrangements for passing on these records to the successor Secretary;
(c) Undertake correspondence of the Association upon direction of the Steering Council; and,
(d) Prepare and distribute ballots to the voting membership, tabulate and record the votes, and notify the candidates for office and the Steering Council of the election results.

Section 9. The Treasurer shall:
(a) Safely keep Association funds and accounts and be responsible for reporting receipts, expenditures, balances, and investments;
(b) Accept and dispense funds as appropriate and in accordance with policies and directives of the Steering Council;
(c) Present a Treasurer’s report and proposed budget for review and consideration by the members at the annual meeting each year; and,
(d) Collect dues and maintain membership records.

Section 10. The Member Representatives, Student Representatives, and appointed members of the Steering Council shall:
(a) Maintain awareness of the diverse views, goals and objectives of the membership of the Association and represent these as appropriate at meetings of the Steering Council; and,
(b) Serve as chairs and members of the nominating and other committees

ARTICLE IX. Nominations and Elections

Section 1. The Nominating Committee shall nominate Members for each elected office.

Section 2. No less than four months prior to the next scheduled annual meeting of the Association, the Nominating Committees shall invite, through available publication as well as email notification, all Members of the Association to submit their suggestions for elected Council and Nominating Committee positions. These suggestions must be received by the Nominating Committees within the next 45 days. Keeping in mind these suggestions and the goals and membership diversity of the Association, the Nominating Committees shall prepare slates of candidates to be circulated to the Members at least two months before the annual meeting. Within the Nominating Committee, the Student Subcommittee shall have primary responsibility for nomination of Student Member and Student Nominating Committee candidates.

Section 3. Five or more Members in good standing shall have the right, by signed petition received by the Nominating Committee before the Committee’s report to the membership at the annual meeting, to add to those reports nominations of Members for the various elected offices.

Section 4. The Annual Meeting shall provide an opportunity for a Candidates’ Forum, which will include brief candidates’ statements and a question and answer session.

Section 5. The Nominating Committee’s final report, including nominees added by petition by the process described in Article IX, Section 3, shall constitute the ballot, and shall be sent to the Members by the Secretary within 45 days following the Annual Meeting. Both written and electronic ballot options will be supplied to Members within the capabilities of the Association. Members shall be given no less than 30 days, nor more than 45 days, to return ballots.

Section 6. Elections shall be by a plurality of votes for each office. All Association Members shall be able to vote on positions a-f (Section 1 of Article VIII above) and non-student elected Nominating Committee positions; only Student Members of the Association shall be able to vote on Student Member positions on the Steering Council and the Nominating Committee.

Section 7. Newly elected and appointed officeholders shall take office as of January 1 of the new calendar year.

ARTICLE X. The Steering Council

(See Article VIII, Section 2 for members)

Section 1. The Steering Council is charged with overall governance of the Association, with oversight of the Association’s finances and management, and with ensuring that the membership is fairly represented in the committees and activities of the Association. The Council shall:
(a) Establish Association policies, respond to membership needs and concerns, and initiate actions and activities;
(b) Approve budgets, meet its fiduciary responsibilities and safeguard the Association’s financial resources;
(c) Appoint members of Association committees;
(d) Oversee the Association’s publication program;
(e) Fill vacancies in elected and appointed positions unless otherwise provided for in these Bylaws; and
(f) Carry out such other functions of the Association as outlined in these bylaws and as may be required.

Section 2. The Steering Council shall hold at least four meetings per year, one of which shall be at the time of the annual meeting of the Association. Meetings not connected with the annual meeting may be held via conference calls, video conferencing or other means.

Section 3. All members of the Steering Council shall have a vote in the Council’s proceedings.

Section 4. The Steering Council shall develop and practice a process of decision-making using a consensus-minus-one process.

Section 5. A quorum of the Steering Council shall be a majority of its Members.

ARTICLE XI. Committees and Boards

Standing Committees

Section 1. Standing committees are charged by, and report to, the Steering Council. Each committee will have a committee Chair appointed by the Steering Council. The term of a Standing Committee Chair shall be set by the Council and shall normally be for a period of two years. Other members of standing committees are recommended by Committee Chairs, Steering Council Members, and Association Members, and are appointed by approval of the Steering Council. Standing Committee members and chairs must be Members of the Association. Unless otherwise specified, Standing Committee Chairs and members shall be eligible for reappointment.

Section 2. All Standing Committees shall submit a written annual report, including a list of current members responsible for the report, to the Steering Council, through the Committee Chair, not later than the end of the Association’s fiscal year.

Section 3. There shall be four Standing Committees:
(a) Nominating Committee;
(b) Student Committee;
(c) Outreach and Membership Committee; and,
(d) Conferences Committee

Section 4. The Nominating Committee shall: (a) Consist of seven individuals as follows: 1) two Members elected for a term of two years, one each year; 2) two Student Members elected for terms of two years, one each year; 3) two Steering Council representatives, including one Student Member representative, and 4) the Past-Chair of the Steering Council, who shall serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee; and,
(b) Make nominations for elected officeholders as specified in Article IX, and make suggestions to the Steering Council for appointed positions as requested.

Section 5. The Student Committee shall:
(a) Consist of five student Members of the Association as follows: 1) two Student Members of the Steering Council for two-year terms; and, 2) three Student Members of the Association appointed by the Steering Council for two-year terms. The Steering Council shall seek recommendations from Association Student Members for appointed positions; and,
(b) Identify and work on matters related to student involvement, concerns, and issues.

Section 6. The Outreach and Membership Committee shall:
(a) Consist of five Members of the Association as follows: 1) two members of the Steering Council for two-year terms; and, 2) three Members of the Association appointed by the Steering Council for two-year terms, including at least one Student Member; and
(b) Develop outreach strategies related to membership and promotion of the Association. The Committee should also make recommendations to the Steering Council concerning current and future outreach activities that would foster the advancement of the field and serve the needs of the various Members of the Association. Promotion of the Association may include the development, maintenance and distribution of publications, newsletters and a website.

Section 7. The Conferences Committee shall:
(a) Consist of five Members of the Association as follows: 1) two members of the Steering Council for two-year terms; and, 2) three Members of the Association appointed by the Steering Council for two-year terms, including at least one Student Member; and,
(b) Engage in long-range planning for annual Association meetings; explore possibilities for other educational events (e.g., regional meetings, workshops, professional development) of interest and benefit to Association Members; and, serve as liaison between the Steering Council, Association, and Annual Meeting Committees (see Article XII, Section 3).

Section 8. Special Committees.
Special Committees may be constituted as needed at the initiative of the Steering Council. Five or more Members may also petition the Steering Council for constitution of a new Committee, said petition to specify the matters to be considered. Special Committees will normally be dissolved after one year, unless otherwise specified by the Steering Council. These committees may request continuation on the basis of justifications contained in their report. Each Special Committee shall submit a written annual report to the Steering Council, including identification of all Committee members as well as those members responsible for the report.

Section 9. Advisory Boards
The Steering Council may establish an Advisory Board (or Boards) to provide counsel on Association matters. The Steering Council shall be responsible for appointments to such Boards, to name Board officeholders (as necessary) and to establish Board length, mandate, and responsibilities. Such Boards may include Association and non-Association members according to the needs for which such groups are established.

ARTICLE XII. Annual Meetings

Section 1. The Association shall hold an annual meeting.

Section 2. The place and date of the meeting shall be communicated to the Members not less than 120 days in advance of the meeting.

Section 3. The Chair, with the advice and consent of the Steering Council and interested Association Members, shall name an Annual Meeting Committee to organize, either alone or in tandem with other local or other organizations’ members, the program of the annual meeting, to make local arrangements for each such event, and to conduct evaluations of the annual meeting.

Section 4. The Association shall hold a Business Meeting at the time of the annual meeting.

Section 5. Five percent of the Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for transacting business at the Association Business Meeting. The business of this meeting shall be transacted by a simple majority of those voting.

Section 6. The agenda of the annual Association Business Meeting shall be set by the Steering Council, with opportunity at the meeting for other Association members to add items to the agenda.

ARTICLE XIII. Annual Audit

The Steering Council shall make an annual audit of Association financial records, in which task it shall employ a certified public accountant.


All contracts must be approved by the Steering Council and signed by the Chair.

ARTICLE XV. Amendments

Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended by the Members by mail and/or electronic ballot, provided that a proposed amendment is approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast.

Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by the Steering Council or by three (3) percent of the Members in good standing. The Steering Council shall have the proposed amendment circulated to the Members and shall allow thirty (30) days for the return of written and/or electronic ballots.

Section 3. The amendments and provisions of these Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon adoption and shall supersede and nullify all previous amendments and provisions.

ARTICLE XVI. Dissolution

Upon the dissolution of the Association, the Steering Council shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Association, dispose of all of the assets of the Association exclusively for the purposes of the Association in such manner, or to such organization(s) organized and operated exclusively for educational or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Council shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the circuit court of the county in which the principal office of the Association is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization(s), as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

By-Laws of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association

Officially Adopted on August 21, 2007

Board Officers:

Co-Chair: Mark Van Horn (Davis, California)

Co-Chair and Treasurer: James S. Rikoon (Columbia, Missouri)

Secretary: Michelle S. Schroeder-Moreno (Raleigh, North Carolina)