Recent Blog Posts

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


Cities play a crucial role to addressing extreme heat as they are both, part of the problem and part of the solution. Since over 50% of the global population resides in urban agglomerations, addressing the extreme heat challenges is of paramount importance for well-being and the overall sustainability of urban environments. Learn more about this Zoom session from Ohio State's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis.

The Engaged Practitioners Network is a space for those Ohio State staff who are working in community outreach and engagement. Our goal is to continue to grow the community of practice for staff. We hope to amplify collaborations, share best practices and increase professional development opportunities. The next meeting is February 16, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (Zoom). More information and registration.

A new University of Michigan-led international study finds that fruits and vegetables grown in urban farms and gardens have a carbon footprint that is, on average, six times greater than conventionally grown produce.

However, a few city-grown crops equaled or outperformed conventional agriculture under certain conditions. Tomatoes grown in the soil of open-air urban plots had a lower carbon intensity than tomatoes grown in conventional greenhouses, while the emissions difference between conventional and urban agriculture vanished for air-freighted crops like asparagus. Read more.

Sourced from Morning Ag Clips

Ohio SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) funds will provide complimentary registration for the 2024 Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) Conference for OSU Extension agriculture and natural resources faculty and staff. This year’s conference will be held February 15-17 in Newark. Information about the conference can be found at

To take advantage of a complimentary registration, go to the registration site and complete the form. You must enter the words “Complimentary OSU Extension” as your organization/company to receive the complimentary registration, which ends February 1. You must also select the pay by check option, and we will get your registration paid centrally. You do not need to send a check for payment, we will send it to OEFFA for you.

 If you have questions, contact Mike Hogan or Sarah Noggle, sustainable ag team coordinators. 

By facilitating connections and advancing research, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs supports the work of food advocates and policy interests to improve Ohio’s food system for its citizens.

“The Glenn College has partnered for over a decade with the Ohio Food Policy Network to put on the Ohio Food Policy Summit, the single annual event for food policy interests to join together across the state to advance collaboration among local food councils and multiple state, regional and local food system community leaders and partner organizations,” said Associate Professor Jill Clark, who conducts research in agrifood system policy and practice, centering on community and state governance of food systems. She is a steering committee member of the Ohio Food Policy Network, which she co-founded. Learn more.

Sourced from The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs

Urban agriculture has the potential to decentralize food supplies, provide environmental benefits like wildlife habitat, and mitigate environmental footprints, but researchers have identified knowledge gaps regarding both the benefits and risks of urban agriculture and the social processes of growing more food in urban areas. Read more.

Sourced from: Morning AgClips

After the hottest summer in recorded history, protecting our communities from extreme heat has rocketed to the top of the to-do list for policy makers and the public alike. Heat is the leading cause of death from extreme weather in the United States, with research led by Duke University projecting that climate change could increase this to nearly 100,000 heat-related deaths per year by 2100. Learn more.

Article sourced from: TIME

For decades, urban farms and community gardens have helped meet demand for fresh and local produce. Urban farming creatively utilizes limited space, conserves land and transforms vacant lots or buildings into productive greenspaces. Farming in cities can be a rewarding way for communities to grow healthy food while receiving a wide range of other interrelated environmental, economic and social benefits.

SARE Outreach’s newest bulletin, Best Practices for the Sustainable Urban Farm, outlines strategies that urban farmers use to tackle the unique opportunities and challenges associated with urban production, including:

  • Land access and security
  • Soil remediation, health and nutrient management
  • Water access and management
  • Season extension and controlled environments
  • Sustainable pest management
  • Aquaponics and hydroponics
  • Marketing in urban areas
  • Nonprofit versus for-profit organizational models

Profiles of SARE grant recipients illustrate how urban farmers, researchers, educators and consumers can work together to foster entrepreneurship, improve food security and contribute to local economies while increasing biodiversity and reducing the distance food travels from field to table.

Download or order your free print copy of Best Practices for the Sustainable Urban Farm at or by calling (301) 779–1007. Best Practices for the Sustainable Urban Farm is available in quantity for free to educators for use in educational workshops, classes or tours.

Order, download or read online now.