Recent Blog Posts

Food systems inequity in the United States: How land use and development policy drive food insecurity in urban areas
March 21, 2024 - 12-1:15 p.m. - Webinar

Focusing on 20th century land use and development policies, this talk will delve into the intersections of land use/development policy and food justice in metropolitan areas. Touching on issues related to food access, justice, and sovereignty, we will explore how land use policies designed to disenfranchise people of color from property ownership are connected to current conditions in disinvested urban neighborhoods that lack healthy food and safe streets. This talk will connect Black rural land loss with urban disinvestment and apartheid. Learn more and register.

In 2024, The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) hosts the Urban Food Systems Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. The event includes keynotes, a grower panel, 40 presentations, a reception with approximately 50 posters, a choice of six off-site educational tours, and dinner at The Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, a unique 261-acre university facility for teaching, research, and community engagement. 

This symposium will bring together a national and international audience of academic, non-profit, government, and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on how we can build coalitions to adapt to this changing world and how urban food systems contribute to these solutions. 

Join 300-400 like-minded people at the Urban Food Systems Symposium. Act now to take advantage of early registration prices through April 13. Hotel reservations close May 21 and registration closes on May 24. Tour capacity is limited and is on a first-come basis. UrbanFoodSystemsSymposium.org 

Ohio State's University Outreach and Engagement Awards honor faculty, staff, students and community partners for outstanding achievement in producing engaged scholarship and community impact. Applications for the 2024 awards are due on February 28.

Learn more and apply.

Urban agriculture is expected to be an important feature of 21st century sustainability and can have many benefits for communities and cities, including providing fresh produce in neighborhoods with few other options. Among those benefits, growing food in backyards, community gardens or urban farms can shrink the distance fruits and vegetables have to travel between producers and consumers – what’s known as the “food mile” problem. With transportation’s greenhouse gas emissions eliminated, it’s a small leap to assume that urban agriculture is a simple climate solution. Learn more.

Sourced from MorningAg Clips

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC) will hold a virtual meeting on March 4-5, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET each day. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is organizing the meeting, which is open to the public.

The virtual meeting is open to up to 100 public attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is required: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_h2DPY7F2SRevFqgmewIkcw After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the meeting.

Meeting details and information on the public comment period can be viewed in the Federal Register notice published on Jan. 24, 2024. Written comments related to the fruit and vegetable industry can be submitted at regulations.gov, document number AMS-SC-24-0002. The deadline to submit written comments is February 21, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

For special accommodations, please contact Darrell Hughes, FVIAC Designated Federal Officer, at SCPFVIAC@usda.gov or by phone at (202) 348-2576.

USDA established the committee in 2001 to examine the full spectrum of issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry and create a forum to provide suggestions and ideas to the department on ways to improve programs to meet the changing needs of the produce industry. Committee members represent a broad cross-section of the industry. Information about the meeting and the committee is available on the AMS Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee webpage.

Sourced from USDA Ag Marketing Services

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium seeks proposals for its annual conference to be held October 9-10, 2024, in Portland, Oregon.

The 2024 conference theme will be “Pathways to Prosperity: Building Sustainable Futures through Community Engagement.”

The 2024 ESC Conference will be a place for engaging conversations about the many ways that professionals work collaboratively to define and build social and economic prosperity. Participants will come together to share the outcomes and impact of their work, explore new ideas and approaches to building pathways for change, and co-create solutions to society’s most pressing problems. Presentation proposals will be considered on any topic clearly connected to the advancement of community engagement. Proposals are due April 1, 2024.

Information about the call for proposals.

To best support partners across Ohio, The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences experts have been monitoring Farm Bill proceedings and issues surrounding it. The event is on February 23, 2024 with the program from 1-3:30 p.m. followed by a reception (3:30-5 p.m.) at the Fawcett Center in Columbus. RSVP for the event.

The following invited key experts will speak at the Farm Bill Summit:

  • Discussing the general policy context - Amy Ando, Professor and Chair, and Margaret Jodlowski, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, CFAES
  • Moderated by Anne Knapke, deputy chief of staff in the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a panel discussion sharing expertise and perspectives to include: Mary Kay Thatcher, senior manager of federal government and industry relations at Syngenta and former director of public policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation; Joe Shultz, executive director of The Platform for Agriculture and Climate Transformation; and Sara Wyant, founder and president of Agri-Pulse Communications
  • Discussing insights into application of the Farm Bill - David L. Marrison, Interim Director for the Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute, CFAES

Join us this important conversation (RSVP) and share with others who may be interested.

First-of-its-kind event to support integrated research, Extension, and education efforts on urban agriculture

Urban food system challenges cannot be solved by a single discipline. GROW (Generating Research Opportunities Workshop) Urban Agriculture Conference is the first-of-its-kind event designed to create more integrated Research, Extension, and Education (REE) teams for collaborative proposals that improve urban agriculture and food systems broadly, as well as work at the intersection of urban agriculture and food systems that operate in, near, or within urban settings.

This three-phase conference brought together a broad diversity of attendees: coalitions, companies, foundations, Hispanic-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations. This was evident in the multitude of interests, skills, expertise, and connections related to Indoor, Urban, and Emerging Agriculture reported by conference attendees.

During the first phase of the event, virtual sessions focused on capacity building, topic exploration, and team building. The event’s kickoff included presentations on urban agriculture listening sessions and USDA funding opportunities related to urban food systems. Participants were also provided with resources related to research and Extension proposal development and team management, dynamics, and communication.  A broad range of research and extension ideas were identified during the first phase of the workshop.

The second and third phases of the event focused on newly formed teams working together on research/extension proposals, pitching the proposal to a group of review panels, and refining the proposal ideas based on feedback received

Visit https://sites.google.com/msu.edu/grow-uaconf/home for additional resources and conference information.

Additional urban ag resources can be found here.

Article submitted by Dr. Fernanda Krupek

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) invites you to join the SENR Graduate Seminar on February 15, 2024 at 4:10 p.m. via Zoom to hear Jim Embry, Director, Sustainable Communities Network, Lexington, KY. Jim will present a seminar titled: Becoming the Imagineers of Our Sustainable Future.”

The Environmental Professional Network (EPN) and the Growing and Growth Collective hosted a breakfast event titled Recognition of history injustices in agriculture Dr. Gail P. Myers served as the keynote speaker and the importance of environmental experiences for racial healing. This event focused on acknowledging and discussing the history and racial inequities of black farmers and land access. The objective was to facilitate an environment of healing by discussing these historical injustices openly and crafting a blueprint through collaborations and pooling resources together as a state, so that future generations can thrive in agriculture regardless of their race or ethnicity.

The Ohio State University doctoral alum, Dr. Gail P. Myers served as the keynote speaker for the breakfast event. Dr. Myers is the founder of Farms to Grow Inc., a non-profit aimed to aid African American farmers and other underserved sustainable farmers in the United States. Dr. Myers stressed, documenting and disseminating history is important so that future generations understand what has happened and to prevent it from happening again. Prior to the event, there was a private viewing of Dr. Myers documentary Rhythm of the Land, which showcased the generational trauma and experiences regarding black farmers and land ownership in the early 20th century. It was powerful listening to firsthand experiences from sharecroppers of racial inequities in land access and how many lost their land.

After the EPN Breakfast program, an education workshop was conducted to discuss the optimal methods for improving the market assets and resources for underserved communities in Ohio. This workshop included sessions on raising awareness for BIPOC producers, the geospatial aspects of planning community gardens, and an update on the 2024 Farm Bill’s potential opportunities for BIPOC farms in urban agriculture.

Overall, this was a great event that focused on the call to action about a blueprint for racial equitable success. It highlighted the importance of history, understanding, healing, and legacy. It facilitated an environment where everyone could share their experiences. Throughout the morning event, there were networking sessions to facilitate honest conversations with BIPOC farmers/growers, urban farmers/growers, Ohio State faculty/administrators, and federal support organizations in Ohio. This allowed for great discussion and connections to form. While there is still much work that needs to be done to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities and improve equity in the food system, the focus of healing resonates with the idea of it’s a process and events like this facilitate that goal.

This event served as the start for their 8th annual National Day of Racial Healing in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The National Day of Racial Healing is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial, Healing & Transformation efforts. This event was also supported by Ohio State University Libraries, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the CFAES Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The breakfast event was hosted at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center and utilized zero-waste reusable dining toolkits to minimize food waste.

Livestream of the Breakfast Event: Link

Sourced from the Environmental Professional Network

Article submitted by Dr. Jared Grant, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University

 

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