Recent Blog Posts

Here are recent CFAES urban-related hires. Some of these hires are part of the RAISE initiative. Through the Race, Inclusion and Social Equity (RAISE) initiative, Ohio State is enhancing its world-class research program on race, inclusion, and social equity. Additional hires are in progress and will be posted soon. 

Several of these individuals will be in attendance at the July 14 Urban Ag Team Meeting in Columbus. Let Michelle Gaston know if you are interested in attending.

The Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) recently welcomed Assistant Professor Jared Grant. Grant received his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics, from the University of Georgia. Grant’s research interests include food accessibility, food security, economics of trust, and behavioral economics. His current work includes creating a variation of the Trust Game that implements a Bayesian game theoretic model that imbeds residents’ trust in government and store operators’ decisions to open and maintain grocery stores in a low income and low food access area.

Dr. Fernanda Krupek will be joining Horticulture & Crop Science (HCS) in August 2023 as an Assistant Professor and Urban Food Systems Horticulturalist. The Urban Food Systems position is new and provides HCS an opportunity to engage with new audiences throughout Ohio. Fernanda recently completed her Ph.D. in Crop Physiology and Production at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her Dissertation focused on Experimentation on Nebraska Farms for Sustaining Soil Health Management (2023). Prior to completing her Ph.D., Dr. Krupek received her M.S. (Thesis: Vine Defoliation Management for Improved Harvest and Storage Quality of Early-Season Fresh-Market Potato) from the University of Florida (2019) and B.S. (Agronomy) from the University of Sao Paulo (2016).

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.

Art creates space for communities to engage in dialogue using creative materials and symbolic devices bridging science and technology with social and cultural experience. The origins of Earth Day are rooted in the intersection of science, society, and art. At the inaugural Earth Day in 1970 a collective environmental movement began, influenced by the ongoing Civil Rights Movement. This EPN Signature Earth Day Event featured artists, urban farmers, and community organizers who use art as a means of inquiry into the intersection of environmental and social justice issues as well of stories of resilience in the face of historical discrimination. The celebration featured a dance performance from Orlando Zane Hunter Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine of Brother(hood) Dance!, an interdisciplinary duo integrating agriculture and technology with dance. See the program overview and watch the recording.

Brad Gaolach and Martha Aitken (from the Metropolitan Center for Applied Research & Extension, Washington State University) will discuss the characteristics of all locations along the urban-rural continuum (remote, rural, regional center, suburbs, and metropolitan). Then with participation from session attedees, they'll explore how urbanization impacts our Extension work, regardless of where we are located. The Zoom session will be held Tuesday, May 9 at 12:30 p.m. ET. Join the session by using Zoom Meeting ID: 985 2978 3039. Sponsored by the ESP Urban and Culturally Diverse Aduiences Affinity Group.