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Resources for New NCRA Directors

Dear New NCRA Member:


Welcome! We are so happy you are part of the NCRA, the North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors. Here’s an overview of our Association, with more information on our website and our MS Teams site:


  • We are one of five regional Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) associations in the US. Regional associations (Western, Southern, Northeast, 1890s, and North Central).  We facilitate the coordination and build and strengthen collaborations among LGU scientists who provide solutions to local, regional, and national food and agriculture challenges through multistate and multidisciplinary research, extension, and education.

  • All five associations are members of the larger, national agInnovation organization (previously known as the Experiment Station Section, ESS), for which the governing body is ESCOP (Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy).

  • The NCRA consists of 12 member AESs from IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, and WI.

  • We are a collegial group of AES directors who share ideas and best practices, solve issues, engage with stakeholders, and manage the North Central Region’s (NCR) Hatch Multistate project portfolio.  We engage with other regions on national issues, including science direction and advocacy. We have regular meetings, both in-person and via Zoom.  You should have already received a calendar invite to our monthly meeting, if not, please let us know.

  • NCRA office staff include the NCRA Executive Director, Dr. Jeanette Thurston, hosted by Kansas State University, and the Assistant Director, Christina (Chris) Hamilton, at UW-Madison. We serve the NCR directors through a wide assortment of activities, such as planning in-person and monthly ZOOM meetings, facilitating regional and national partnerships and initiatives with other AES offices, associations, and stakeholders (e.g., Cooperative Extension, APLU, USDA), to managing and assisting with the NIMSS database, the NCRA and other websites, social media, and managing our multistate research portfolio. The office is funded through assessments from our member institutions and our efforts reviewed annually by our 12 directors.

  • Our members serve on various NCRA, regional, and national committees. Once you are settled in your role, please consider volunteering for a position as they become available. It’s a great way to learn about the NCRA in more detail, as well as network with others across the country. Learn more about NCRA governance through our Rules of Operation.


Once you get settled, please let us know a good time to meet over Zoom. We would love to meet you and answer any questions you have about the NCRA.


Best regards,


Jeanette Thurston, NCRA Executive Director (; 402-730-3544)

Chris Hamilton, NCRA Assistant Director (; 484-716-7645)

Useful Links and Resources:
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