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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 UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov 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. 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

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