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Sean Kearney


Graduate student

970-759-5689 (US) or +256-787-016779 (Uganda)


Bachelors: International Business and Economics, Western Washington University, 2008

Masters: International Agricultural Development, UC Davis, in progress

Research Projects

Promoting Horticultural Production Through Farmer Field Schools in Uganda: Working with rural smallholders in Nkokonjeru, Uganda, we are looking at the use of the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach to build smallholder capacity to produce vegetables for household consumption and income diversification.  Through FFS farmers work together in groups with a trained facilitator to learn how to assess the health of their crops and discover best management practices through on-farm experimentation.

A Feasibility Study for Forming a Coffee Cooperative or Growers Association in Nkokonjeru, Uganda: Coffee growers in the area have been complaining for years about receiving low prices for coffee, being cheated by traders and a general lack of access to capital and inputs to grow more and higher quality coffee.  We are looking into options for organizing growers in the area by conducting surveys, organizing participatory farmer forums and analyzing other growers’ associations in the area (both successful and unsuccessful).  A quantitative analysis will be carried out with members of a nearby project implemented by one of the countries largest exporters to identify what household conditions (such as access to credit/capital, income diversification, etc…) correlate with successful member participation in the project.

Research Interests

sustainable nutrient management (both at the farm-scale and regionally); social entrepreneurship as a development strategy; use of farmer groups in development and training programs; participatory action research – how to involve farmers and keep research, training and development programs relevant

Awesome classes new students must take

PLS 110 A&C – Principles of Agronomic Crop Production, Crop Management Systems for Vegetable Production

TTP 289 – D-LAB