The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has awarded a total of $233,750 in grants to nine statewide projects under the new AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Program. The purpose of the program is to encourage urban youth agricultural education and urban agriculture community development by assisting organizations and communities in obtaining the materials and services necessary for the successful promotion of urban agriculture.
“This first round of recipients is providing exciting and unique opportunities to introduce youth to agriculture,” said MDA Grant Administrator Erin Connell. “For example, the Prairie Island Indian Community will use their grant to implement a micro-farm aquaponics system and Lakeview Elementary School in Robbinsdale will expand their school garden to include a self-described “food forest” and a greenhouse.”
The 2018 AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Recipients include:
- Appetite for Change, Minneapolis: will provide job readiness training to North Minneapolis youth through urban farming and farmers’ market participation
- Frogtown Farms, St. Paul: will provide high-level, hands-on urban agricultural education
- Lakeview Elementary School, Robbinsdale: will expand their school garden by adding a greenhouse and outdoor classroom
- Little Earth Community, Minneapolis: will focus their community-led urban farm production on Indigenous principles and perspectives
- Prairie Island Indian Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Red Wing: will implement a micro-farm aquaponics system to educate youth and address health disparities related to food access experienced in the community
- Project Sweetie Pie, Minneapolis: will transform a greenhouse into a youth and adult education center
- University of Minnesota Bee Lab, Falcon Heights: will host 5 field days of hands-on learning activities and workshops for local students focused on pro-pollinator practices that enhance productivity
- University of Minnesota Extension, Virginia: will invite K-12 youth in the Virginia, Minnesota “Virginia Grows” program to participate in afterschool 4-H programming at a nearby greenhouse
- Youth Farm, Minneapolis: will expand its Farm Stewards Fellowship curriculum which focuses on educating youth on skill development related to food, social change, and urban agriculture.
Margaret Hart, MDA Communications