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USDA is making available up to $7.5 million for grants through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.

As more of our daily activities take place online, we believe it’s time to consider how this may eventually play out; if tomorrow’s city dwellers prefer the metaverse to brick-and-mortar stores and other urban amenities, what will it mean for cities and what purposes will cities ultimately serve? Read more.

Sourced from The Conversation

You are invited to join your regional urban colleagues June 7-9 at the 2023 North-Central NUEL Regional Conference. The conference will be held at Memorial Union on the beautiful campus of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, located in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin. The organizing committee of this year’s conference is committed to providing a conference experience that presents opportunities for you to grow as an Urban Extensionist through purposeful interaction.

To achieve this, we’re breaking from the traditional conference experience. We’ll still have great keynote speakers, your Ignite Presentations, wonderful food, and plenty of time for networking. We’re looking for a new take on the conference breakout session. To engage the audience more authentically, we’re asking you to facilitate breakout sessions in a new way.

As a nod to the Community Development acumen we believe all Extension Professionals should have, we want our breakout sessions to introduce an issue/idea/concept and then work on it - collaboratively. This format will allow for a more participatory experience for attendees and provide an opportunity for collaborative issue identification and resolution.

Facilitated Discussion Sessions will be 75-minutes in length. Facilitators are encouraged to name co-facilitators and/or scribes to document the work of the group during their sessions.

Submitting Your Proposal Is Easy
If you’re ready to submit your proposal for a Facilitated Discussion or an Ignite Presentation, visit this link by January 31, 2023. We’ll notify you on February 10, 2023, if your proposal is selected.

Need inspiration for crafting your proposal? We’re looking for sessions that highlight hot Extension topics, elevate urban outreach, or broker conversations on critical issues. You might consider framing your proposal within one of NUEL’s Program Areas of Strengthening Communities, Protecting the Environment, Improving our Health, Enriching Youth, and Feeding the Future. Additionally, here are some themes that the organizing committee has brainstormed.

If you have questions or want to run an idea by the committee, feel free to reach out:
Durriyyah Kemp -
Michelle Cox -
Marlin Bates -

The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future with Ben Green

Smart cities, where technology is used to solve every problem, are hailed as futuristic urban utopias. We are promised that apps, algorithms, and artificial intelligence will relieve congestion, restore democracy, prevent crime, and improve public services. Hear warnings against seeing the city through the lens of technology; taking an exclusively technical view of urban life will lead to cities that appear smart but under the surface are rife with injustice and inequality. The webinar is January 27 at 12 p.m. Learn more and register.

Sourced from Ohio State's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA)

The vast majority of the state of Ohio is growing older, losing population, and losing workers — a trend offset only by growth happening mostly in Columbus and surrounding areas, a new report shows.

From 2000 to 2020, the state of Ohio saw its population grow by 3%, but if the city of Columbus and surrounding areas are removed from the equation, the rest of the state experienced population loss of about 1%, or 100,000 people, according to a new study from the nonpartisan nonprofit Greater Ohio Policy Center. Read the complete article.

Sourced from Ohio Capital Journal

Each of the 88 counties of Ohio houses an Ohio State University Extension Office. One of these resourceful offices is located right here in the heart of the Columbus campus on the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory. Among the many great people who work out of the Franklin County Extension Office is, Tim McDermott, who specializes in urban agriculture and Local Food Systems. Recently, one of Tim’s ventures has taken his focus all around the state of Ohio. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: The Ohio State University CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science News

NUEL’s North Central Regional Conference will be held June 7-9, 2023 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Join you colleagues and be a part of a conference “shift” to cultivate spaces to discuss hot Extension topics, discover creative ways to elevate urban outreach, engage in thoughtful dialogue about critical issues, and participate in think tank sessions. They are currently seeking facilitators to help lead this dynamic, non-traditional conference experience. If you want to be a part of the change, sign up to attend one of our informational sessions and learn how you can be a part of the conference culture shift!

Call for Facilitators - Informational Session Dates (follow the links to register)
Thursday, December 1, 2022, 1:00 - 2:00 (EST)
Monday, January 9, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 (EST)

USDA encourages urban producers, innovative producers, and other stakeholders to virtually attend the second public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production on November 29 from 3-5 p.m. ET.  This Committee will discuss recommendations it intends to submit to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to remove barriers to urban and innovative producers and increase access of urban and innovative producers to USDA programs and services. Learn more, submit a comment, or register to attend.

Group of teens and advisors who traveled to Washington D.C.4-H teens in Ohio can experience another side of Washington, D.C. that goes beyond the monuments and museums.

On September 1-4, 10 teens and two adult leaders participated in the 4-H Urban Immersion Experienc in Washington, D.C. The Urban Immersion Project (UIP) is an immersive experience designed to combine cross-cultural learning, teamwork, and service learning in an urban environment. This project included a 4-day service-learning experience that builds skills and abilities that prepare youth for success in the workforce. Interactive cross-cultural activities and challenges throughout the city helped youth build capacity to broaden understanding of cultural and racial differences in people who live in an urban environment. Youth stayed in the Southeast part of the city and were provided opportunities to perform acts of service throughout the city. Youth also learned about the realities and challenges for adults and families who struggle with homelessness and/or live in poverty.   

Service projects included a day at “A Wider Circle,” a nonprofit organization with programs to address the needs of adults and children challenged by homelessness, poverty, and substance abuse. Youth participated in the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program, A Wider Circle’s largest program which provides beds, dressers, tables, chairs, dishes, pots, pans, and other large and small home goods to families transitioning out of shelters, escaping domestic violence, or otherwise living without these basic need items. Youth helped sort and supply the warehouse shelves so families could come and select the items they needed. Teens packing meals

Youth also volunteered at SOME (So Others Might Eat) and assembled more than 200 ready-to-go meals to be handed out to those in need. SOME is a whole person care provider working to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through a variety of services. They customize individual care pathways that meet their physical, emotional, social, financial, spiritual, and behavioral needs holistically. 

During one of the evening programs, two presenters from the National Coalition for the Homeless (NHS) came and shared a meal with the group. They talked about the issue of homelessness, shared personal homelessness stories, and helped the group dispel myths about homelessness. At the end of the presentation, youth were invited to ask questions and engage in dialogue with the speakers. To some, this interactive dialogue session was their favorite part of the immersion experience. 

Another part of the experience included city-wide activities that helped teens become familiar with a city map, asking for directions, and the metro system. They got to use their newfound knowledge as they completed a team scavenger hunt around the city. On the final evening of the experience, the group dined at a local Ethiopian restaurant in the U Street/Cardoza neighborhood.   UIP teens in DC in front of monument

This Urban Immersion Project experience will be offered again in September 2023. New in 2023, 10 youth from Sweden 4-H will join in the experience. The cost of the experience is only $180. This fee includes most meals, program fees, overnight lodging, and transportation. 

If you are interested in learning more, contact Steve Brady at the Warren County Extension office (513.695.1311),, or visit this webpage.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $14.2 million in 52 grants that support urban agriculture and innovative production. This investment, which includes American Rescue Plan Act funds, will allow grant recipients to expand access to nutritious foods, foster community engagement, increase awareness of climate change and mitigate the effects within urban areas, provide jobs, educate communities about farming, and expand green spaces. In total, the 52 projects were funded in 27 states. For more information and a complete list of grant recipients and project summaries, visit Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grants.

Sourced from NRCS USDA