Recent Blog Posts

The latest issue of the Journal of Human Sciences and Extension is a special issue focusing on Extension engagement in urban communities. The 35 authors who contributed to this issue represent a range of geographic and programmatic viewpoints. Insights shared demonstrate that diversity in our cities is multidimensional, reinforce the importance of culturally relevant engagement, highlight the impact of Extension investment in urban partnerships and communities, underscore the complexity in metropolitan areas, emphasize the value and potential of our national network, as well as address issues of access, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging.

Articles in this issue include:

1. Foreword by Marie A. Ruemenapp and Katherine Williams

2. Extension Engagement with Urban Communities by Julie Fox, Donna J. Peterson and Scott R. Cummings

3. Visualizing Diversity: Spatial Data as a Resource Enabling Extension to Better Engage Communities by Justin Krohn, Jacqueline Davis-Manigaulte, Christopher Fulcher, and Jennifer Sarah Tiffany

4. Strengthening Urban Food Systems Through Extension Programming and Community Engagement: A Case Study of New Brunswick, New Jersey by Cara L. Cuite, and Lauren Errickson

5. Cooperative Extension in Urban America: Place-Based Approaches for Improving Health by Dawn Burton, LaToya O’Neal, Erin Yelland, Suzanne Stluka, and Roger Rennekamp

6. Perspectives of 4-H Professionals: Practices to Engage Immigrant Youth in 4-H Teens as Teachers Programs by Fe Moncloa and Ester Rodriguez

7. “I’m Going to Live My Life Freely”: Authenticity as an Indicator of Belonging Among Urban Latinx LGBTQ+ Youth by Maru Gonzalez, Bianka M. Reese, and Tania Connaughton-Espino

8. Accessibility and Inclusion as an Approach to Enhancing Local Extension Programs by S. Dee Jepsen, Laura Akgerman, Karen Funkenbusch, Jessie Calero, and Heather Kelejian

9. Reconceptualizing Youth Sparks: A Sociocultural Approach to Co-Designing Programs for Somali Youth by Joanna A. Tzenis

10. Extension and Faith-Based Organizations – Understanding Past and Present Linkages and Future Opportunities for Urban Communities by Jeffrey A. Young and Kenneth R. Jones

11. Book Review – The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done by Eric Killian

12. Documentary Review – Two Roles in Urban Community Revitalization: Julian Price the Philanthropist and Cooperative Extension by Susan A. Kelly

13. Book Review – Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good Review & Implications for Engaged Programming by M.C. “Molly” Immendorf

14. Fostering a Sense of Belonging in Urban Extension for Internal and External Stakeholders by Ramona Madhosingh-Hector and Linda M. Seals

15. Futuring Perspectives and Practices for Urban Extension by Julie Fox and Solomon Garner

Articles provided in this issue further JHSE’s continued efforts to promote practical implementation of research by providing food for thought, opportunities for practical replication or local adaptation, and ideas to keep the dialogue on urban Extension moving forward.

A printed version of this special issue was distributed at the National Urban Extension Conference thanks to the support from The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Washington State University Extension, and the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research, and Mississippi State University.

Julie Fox, Guest Editor for the 2022 Special Issue

Donna J. Peterson and Scott Cummings, Editors Journal of Human Sciences and Extension

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities Annual Conference will take place October 23-26 in San Diego. The conference theme is "The Essential Role of Urban and Metropolitan Universities." The conference is focused on CUMU member institutions, their community partners, and their work addressing contemporary challenges through dialogue and presentations delivered in a variety of formats that allow for in-depth conversations and actionable next steps. Ohio State faculty and staff will receive the CUMU member rate when registering.

Learn more and register.

Urban agriculture is booming, but there’s often a hidden danger lurking in city soils: lead. A recent University of Illinois study showed universally elevated lead levels in soils across Chicago, an urban ag hotspot.

Scientists don’t know much about how vegetables and other crops take up and accumulate lead in real-world settings, but new U of I research in Chicago backyard gardens shows tomatoes are likely safe to eat, even when grown in highly lead-contaminated soils.

Read the full article here.

Sourced from Morning Ag Clips

Climate Change Could Cost Ohio Municipalities Nearly $6B Annually by 2050.

Local governments across Ohio will need to increase municipal spending by as much as $5.9 billion annually by midcentury in order to adapt to the challenges of a worsening climate crisis, according to a new study released today by the Ohio Environmental Council, Power A Clean Future Ohio, and Scioto Analysis. 

The report, The Bill is Coming Due: Calculating the Financial Cost of Climate Change to Ohio’s Local Governments, provides a conservative estimate of the additional costs that municipalities — including specific estimates for Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Cuyahoga Falls, Dayton, Lima, Marietta, Marion, Oberlin, Piqua, Toledo, Wadsworth, Youngstown — can expect to incur due to climate change. Follow this link for the complete article.

Sourced from the Ohio Environmental Council

Plan to attend the Urban Food Systems Symposium September 26-28, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. The theme for this year's conference is "building Coalitions for a Chanding World." The program schedule has been announced so check out the UFSS website to learn about keynotes, invited speakers, posters, and technical sessions. Register by August 31 to receive the best prices. Limited funds are still available for travel scholarships - check it out.

Check out the updated Innovation Skill-Building Experience ePub: A Guide for Project Incubation and Tools for Success.

Impact Collaborative Innovation Facilitators and Extension Foundation team members provide a hands-on introduction to the Innovation Skill-Building Experience (ISBE) workbook. This workbook and related tools is the start of your team’s collaboration in imagining something extraordinary, experimenting to make it great, and then turning your team’s vision into actuality. A new iteration of the ISBE workbook is interactive to better utilize all the workbook’s tools in a more user-friendly, easy to share, and printable format.

With updated and improved content, more examples to help enhance learning, and newly added features such as note-taking, embedded videos, and links, this workbook is designed to enhance learning and create more results! With this workbook, you have a collection of tools that will guide you on your journey into change and innovation.

Use it as a tool to:

  • Guide your team through a project idea that needs incubation with checklists and methods for documenting progress
  • Learn about Cooperative Extension’s best practices for solving important community issues
  • Measure learning outcomes to improve program/project impact continuously

This ISBE ePub is your device to spark ideas, foster innovation, and ultimately create a local effect.

Check out the workbook link and test out all its features.
New ISBE Epub
Tutorial on how to use Ebooks

Sourced from Connect Extension

Urban agriculture support systems take different forms and promote diverse priorities in different U.S. cities. Some treat farming and gardening as a public good—public spaces that are valued for their community-building, environmental, public health, and other social benefits. Others have sought to extract more economic and redevelopment gains from urban agriculture. The specific ways cities support urban agriculture—and the outcomes city governments, support organizations, and funders expect from it—have significant impacts and implications for social equity and justice.

In an article from JAFSCD, “’The highest and best use of land in the city’: Valuing urban agriculture in Philadelphia and Chicago,” Domenic Vitiello explores these divergent, often opposing expectations of what urban agriculture can yield, and what it should be. Reflecting on over a decade of research and practice, he traces the evolution of urban agriculture activities, support, and policy in Philadelphia and Chicago since the end of the twentieth century. These histories reflect broader tensions among different approaches to governing, supporting, and practicing agriculture in cities.

Read more.

Sourced from Morning AgClips


Please join us starting July 15 for the Urban Agriculture Pest Management Webinar Series. This series will run for three Fridays on the following dates and times:

  • Friday, July 15, 2022 at 12:30-1:30 p.m. Topic: Virtual Urban Ag Tours
  • Friday, July 22, 2022 at 12:30-1:30 p.m. Topic: Composting with Arthropods
  • Friday, July 29, 2022 at 12:30-1:30 p.m. Topic: Scouting & Trapping Insects

Flier with complete details.

Please register here, Registration provides an option to request the recording if you cannot attend at the scheduled day and time, recorded viewing is only available only for a limited.

This webinar series is coordinated by the Great Lakes Urban Agricultural IPM Working Group. For questions contact, Maggie


Deep Dives, Urban Sabbaticals, and Urban Graduate Fellowships are designed to enhance the impact of Extension, and the broader land-grant university system, in metropolitan communities. Learn more or meet our past fellows at

Application deadline (11:59 PDT): July 31, 2022

Fellowship Programs

DEEP DIVES:  Deep Dives were created to spur innovation within Extension, address complex issues facing metropolitan areas, and support the organizational needs of urban Extension programs, while providing opportunities for academic and community-based professionals to lead multi-state or national projects. Each WCMER Deep Dive is led by a WCMER Applied Research Fellow.

Anyone may apply. Only participants from WCMER platinum member institutions are eligible for funding which may be up to $10,000 annually for up to two years. See the WCMER member page to find out if your institution is a platinum member.

URBAN SABBATICALS: Urban Sabbaticals allow community-engaged scholars to work with the WCMER and faculty from member institutions to conduct applied research, develop or sharpen skills related to working in metropolitan communities, develop and/or pilot new programs, conduct feasibility studies for new programmatic areas, or co-author scholarly products.

Sabbaticals may range from 2-12 months. Anyone is eligible to apply. Only participants from WCMER member institutions will be eligible for stipends of up to $5,000 for platinum members and $2,000 for silver members. See the WCMER member page to find out if your institution is a member.

URBAN GRAD STUDENT FELLOWSHIP: Urban Graduate Fellowships will allow post-graduate students pursuing Master’s or Doctoral degrees to work with the WCMER and faculty from member institutions to conduct applied research, develop new or sharpen existing skills related to working in metropolitan communities, develop and / or pilot new programs, conduct feasibility studies for new programmatic areas, or co-author scholarly products.

Graduate fellowships may range from one quarter up to a full academic year including summer terms. Anyone is eligible to apply. Only participants from WCMER platinum member institutions will be eligible for stipends of up to $2,500. See the WCMER member page to find out if your institution is a member.

2022-23 Topics of Interest

The WCMER will accept applications on any topic of interest that addressed the goals and mission of WCMER, However, for the current round of funding, WCMER is especially interested in applications that address or relate to the intersection of diversity, equity and inclusion and the following topics: 

  1. Climate Change
  2. Workforce Development 
  3. Health Equity 


  • June 15, 2022: Application period opens
  • July 31, 2022: Application deadline (11:59 PDT)
  • August 31, 2022: Awardees notified
  • January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023: Period of performance
  • June 30, 2023: Final report detailing accomplishments and use of funds due.

View / Download the Application Instructions 

For additional information, contact Brad Gaolach, Director WCMER
425-405-1734 |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces significant investments to support urban agriculture, including $43.1 million for grants and cooperative agreements as well as six new urban county committees to help deliver key USDA programs to urban producers. These actions support USDA’s efforts to strengthen the food supply chain and transform the food system to be fairer, more competitive and more resilient. Read more.

Sourced from Morning Ag Clips