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Urban Ag Project Developing Curriculum to Support Producers, Planners and Policymakers

Our Urban Ag project has partnered with USDA-AMS Marketing Services Division and Rooted, the Madison, WI-based center for urban agriculture enterprise and education, to collaborate and develop classes for commercial urban agriculturists, city planners, and policymakers.

The project is informed by our publication, The Promise of Urban Agriculture, a national study of commercial farming in urban areas released in 2019. We are working with Rooted to revisit findings from the study to develop training to support urban agriculturists, city planners, and urban policymakers to successfully integrate commercial urban farming into city landscapes that promote racial equity and community. Over the next 18 months, the team will build and pilot training online and in-person. 

Our project “Realizing the Promise of Urban Agriculture” is funded by a USDA-AMS Cooperative Agreement, which also funded the original report. This Urban Ag project represents an innovative approach to urban agriculture by addressing planners and policymakers, as well as farmers, taking a holistic approach to support robust urban farming businesses and communities.

Realizing the Promise of Urban Agriculture sits squarely within the Cornell Small Farms Program’s mission to turn research into meaningful educational opportunities that promote equitable participation in farming in New York State and beyond,” said Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program. “Working with USDA and Rooted to illuminate the value of commercial urban agriculture grounded in antiracist principles is the type of cross-sector collaboration that will help achieve our vision of resilient people, communities, and food systems.”

“Rooted is excited to partner with USDA and the Cornell Small Farms Program on Realizing the Promise of Urban Agriculture,” said Marcia Caton Campbell, executive director of Rooted. “Our organization’s mission commits us to equitable, just, and inclusive collaborations rooted in food, land, and learning, so that people may thrive in healthy, resilient neighborhoods. Working in partnership with USDA and the Cornell Small Farms Program enables Rooted to extend our hands-on experience in urban agriculture production, education and training, planning, and policy-making to a wider audience.”

“Urban agriculture depends uniquely on the surrounding ecosystem of local governments and other engaged community stakeholders to survive and thrive,” said Tricia Kovacs, deputy administrator of the Transportation and Marketing Program of USDA-AMS. “We look forward to working with the Cornell Small Farms Program and Rooted in this next iteration of fulfilling the promise that commercial urban agriculture holds for complementing a more robust farming landscape across the U.S.”

Visit the Urban Ag project page for more information.

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Cornell Small Farms Program’s communications specialist. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.