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Much of the United States is urbanizing, increasing the importance of developing Extension programs geared toward urban audiences. There has been an increasing interest in urban agriculture (UA) in recent years as an outgrowth of the “local food” movement. The COVID-19 pandemic increased awareness of the importance of food system resilience, in which urban agriculture can play a role. Developing programs specifically targeted to urban farming clientele can bolster Cooperative Extension’s role in supporting urban populations. An important first step to developing these programs is to understand Extension educators’ perceptions, beliefs, and knowledge about UA and the key barriers and opportunities to develop new programs that serve UA clientele. This study highlights key barriers and opportunities to develop new Extension programs to support UA and to increase Extension’s visibility in and impact on urban communities. This Journal of Human Sciences & Extension article can be found here.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the RUAF Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems have released the City Region Food Systems (CRFS) Assessment and Planning Handbook and online toolkit.

The City Region Food Systems (CRFS) programme is a global initiative of FAO and RUAF that aims to support national and local governments and local food actors to build resilient city region food systems by strengthening rural–urban linkages and improving the resilience to climate and pandemic risks. This Handbook is designed for technical staff in local and national institutions, and practitioners in cities/city regions that are implementing the city region food system (CRFS) assessment and planning process. Its purpose is to help familiarizing with the CRFS approach and key terminology, and guide the implementation of an assessment and planning following different steps and modules. The Handbook is intended to be used in conjunction with the online Toolkit, which contains supplementary explanations, how-to tools, training materials, technical examples, and workshop resources related to activities within each project module. The Toolkit can be accessed here.

The Fritz Food Pantry in Madison prides itself on providing a wide variety of foods and ingredients to accommodate as many diets, allergies and food preferences as possible. Their approach speaks not just to the continuing hunger crisis exacerbated by the pandemic; food pantries like The Fritz have also been shown to have an important influence on the dietary health of their customers. Learn more.

Sourced from Next City

USDA is seeking nominations for four positions on the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. Nominations will be open to public from May 15, 2023, to July 15, 2023. The 12-member Committee, which was assembled in March 2022, is part of USDA’s efforts to increase support for urban agriculture and innovative production. Members of the committee provide input on policy development and to help identify barriers to urban agriculture as USDA works to promote urban farming and the economic opportunities it provides in cities across the country. Learn more.

Sourced from USDA

An interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff have worked together for over a year to create a new water at Ohio State website. This effort, led by the Ohio Water Resources Center with funding from the Sustainability Institute and Ohio Sea Grant, sought to create a point of connection for everyone working in the water sphere on and off campus. The site includes information for researchers, students, and external audiences. A key component of the site is a webform through which the Ohio State community can upload a picture of water-related projects to be featured on the site. Go to the site.

Sourced from onCampusToday

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced approximately $45 million available to organizations that help underserved and veteran farmers, ranchers, and foresters own and operate successful farms. Funding is made through USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program. Applications must be submitted through and received by Tuesday July 25, 2023. There are informational webinars on June 12 and July 10. Learn more.

Sourced from Morning Ag Clips

The recent Wiser on Wednesday workshop offered hands-on training for the Knowledge Exchange's new custom report builder, the Knowledge Explorer. Participants learned the basics of building a report, key tool features, and the many data options available. The co-hosts were Stacy Cochran and Katie Phillips, program managers from the Knowledge Exchange (KX), and Brian Butler and Valerie Kohlwey from the Learning and Organizational Development (LOD). Check out the Knowledge Builder to pull data for your community. Here is the session recording. Session PowerPoint.