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Grants available to encourage urban youth agricultural education

Contributed by: Erin Connell, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Youth Farm, 2018 grantees of the Urban Agriculture grant.
Youth Farm, 2018 grantee of the Urban Agriculture grant.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for the Urban Agriculture grant, which is funded by the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) program. The MDA expects to award up to $250,000 to eligible applicants for equipment purchases and dedicated staff/contractor time that will stimulate urban youth agricultural education and/or urban agriculture community development. [Read more]

“It is important that we reach out to our youth about agriculture, particularly in our urban areas,” said Minnesota Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Andrea Vaubel. “Since there is flexibility in how the AGRI Urban Agriculture grants can be used, there are a variety of options available to teach our urban youth and apply that knowledge in their communities.”

Funded during the first ever round of the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program, Lakeville Elementary School of the Robbinsdale School District, will expand their school garden by adding a greenhouse and outdoor classroom space for their students. In addition, they will add a 5,000 square foot “Food Forest” to educate students about topics in agroecology.

Another first round grantee, University of Minnesota Extension, will use their grant award to develop after school 4-H programming for K-12 youth in Virginia, MN. Programming will be centered on nutrition and food production. Through this program, youth will be given the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a community garden.

Schools located in or serving eligible communities are encouraged to apply. A complete list of eligible locations can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Applications for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program must be submitted by 4:00 pm CST on January 17, 2019. For additional information, including a list of eligible locations and a link to apply, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/urbanaggrant.

Fiscal Year 2018 AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant Awardees

Organization
Project Summary
Lakeview Elementary School – Robbinsdale Area Schools
Expansion of school garden including greenhouse, outdoor classroom, and food forest.
Project Sweetie Pie
Creation of a youth and adult education center and greenhouse.
Prairie Island Indian Community
Implementation of a micro-farm aquaponics system.
Youth Farm
Implementation of education program meant to develop career and workforce skills related to food and social change.
University of Minnesota – Extension
Development of agriculture and food related youth programming.
Little Earth Resident’s Association
Development of agriculture and nutrition education program based on Native American values
Appetite for Change
Urban farming, culinary skills, community organizing, and job readiness training program for North Minneapolis youth.
University of Minnesota – Bee Lab
Pollinator education training program
Frogtown Farms
Apprentice program focused on urban agriculture based field-work, harvesting, distribution, and communications.

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