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The National Urban Research & Extension Center (NUREC) invites you to participate in this Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to determine where there are opportunities for partnership and collaboration amongst research and Extension and the National League of Cities.

Please share with others at Ohio State as they are interested in potential partnerships across all academic disciplines. When considering how your expertise might connect to these topics, think about opportunities related to "wrap around" services such as program evaluation, economic impact analysis, technical assistance, customized training, curriculum development, etc. Following the National League of Cities' programs, you will have the opportunity to add programs and projects you are working on that you feel might be of interest to cities - for deployment, for beta-testing, or research projects.

NUREC uses RFEI’s to assess interest and gather information to create projects, build project teams and/or craft responses to RFP’s. The RFEI allows us to explore the expertise that exists in NUREC member institutions around a given topic and find faculty/staff who are interested in working on current and future NUREC projects. 

NUREC is a collaborative membership-based nationwide organization for land-grant universities that facilitates the co-creation and application of knowledge enabling metropolitan communities to improve the health and wellbeing of all residents, achieve equitable economic growth, and steward their natural environments – delivering on the land-grant mission for urban residents, communities and the organizations that support them.

Here is the link:

Direct questions to Brad Gaolach, Director of NUREC at or 425-405-1734.

The Ohio State University is hiring an Urban Agriculture Specialist. This 12-month faculty member will lead a statewide Urban Agriculture team of faculty, staff, and students. They will lead urban ag system curriculum development and conduct research in collaboration with other CFAES urban-focused faculty members. They will serve as a Principal Investigator, managing grant funding, project leadership, and partner development. As leader of a five-year project funded Cooperative Agreement with USDA FSA, they will collaborate with diverse local teams and stakeholders in Ohio's metropolitan areas. With 100% Extension appointment, they will explore emerging opportunities linking Extension, teaching, and research to advance Ohio's urban agriculture and food system community. Master's degree required, doctoral degree preferred. Extension-outreach experience, grant-management skills, and leadership expertise are also required. For more information, see the posted job listing.

Participate in the upcoming Engaged Practitioners Network community of practice on Friday, April 5 from 10-11 a.m. via Zoom. The Engaged Practitioners Network is a space for Ohio State staff who are working in community outreach and engagement. They hope to amplify collaborations, share best practices, and increase professional development opportunities. Register here.

Sourced from Nicole Nieto, Assistant Vice Provost, Outreach and Engagement, Office of Academic Affairs

JCEP’s Excellence in Extension Engagement Award recognizes high-quality, evidence-based Extension work with documented outstanding outcomes and impacts. The award is for individual or team programs driven by local needs, grounded in scholarly practice, adequately evaluated, showing adoption beyond initial audiences, within or across states, and bringing innovation to Extension. First place is $750 and includes being an invited speaker at ELC 2025 with registration waived. Learn more.

USDA is accepting applications for grants to support urban agriculture and innovative production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.
Learn more. 
Sourced from

Urban producers, innovative producers, and other stakeholders are invited to virtually attend a public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production on April 10 from 2-4 p.m. ET. 

Meeting details can be viewed in the Federal Register Notice. Written comments can be submitted via by April 24 at 11:59 p.m. The Committee will deliberate and vote on proposed recommendations and address public comments during the meeting. USDA will share the agenda between 24 to 48 hours prior to the meeting on the Committee’s webpage

The Committee is managed by the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production and was established through the 2018 Farm Bill and is part of a broad USDA investment in urban agriculture.

Learn More or Register  Sourced from Farmers.Gov

The National Urban Research & Extension Center (NUREC) invites you to attend the Soils in the City webinar presented by Dr Doug Collins on April 17 at 9 AM PDT (12 ET). Attendance is free, but you must register to attend. Registration is available here.

More people around the world now live in cities than in rural areas. While cities have long been economic and cultural centers, there is increasing demand for ecological and environmental services from urban spaces. Urban agriculture, which utilizes local soils and nutrient rich organic amendments, is recognized for the ability to provide products, income, social benefits, and ecological services. Best management practices for anthropogenic soils (anthrosoils) and metrics to describe and evaluate their health are evolving.

Dr. Collins will share results from a National Urban Research & Extension Fellowship which included an observational study of soil parameters in farmed soils in urban and peri-urban environments in three different urban areas: 1) Medellin, Colombia; 2) Chicago, IL, USA; and 3) Seattle, WA, USA. While soil contaminants (e.g. heavy metals) are a concern in urban agriculture, the physical, hydrological, and biological parameters of urban soils are equally important but less studied. These three urban areas provided a diversity of cultural-industrial histories to evaluate anthropogenic influences. The study compared farmed soils in urban and peri-urban environments to characterize soil formation, soil foodwebs, carbon dynamics, soil nutrients, and contaminants along a gradient of anthropogenic influence (less disturbed to highly disturbed).

Doug Collins is an Extension Professor and Soil Scientist with WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Doug has a Ph.D. in soil science from Washington State University and an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Montana State University. He focuses on managing and monitoring soil fertility on diverse organic vegetable farms, composting systems, and evaluating soil quality in different vegetable cropping systems - including organic reduced tillage. Doug is also interested in soil variability across landscapes and biological indicators of soil quality. He has also consulted on composting, organic waste management, and soil health in the Dominican Republic and Colombia and currently serves on the Board of Washington Organics Recycling Council and the WSDA Organic Program.

This webinar is part of his Urban Sabbatical Fellowship with NUREC; you can learn more about his sabbatical work here.

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.