Urban agriculture and food systems comprises inner-city small farms, community and school gardens; backyard and rooftop horticulture, innovative food-growing methods maximizing yields in small areas, and controlled environment agriculture. Urban Agriculture includes farms supplying urban farmers markets and farm stands, community-supported agriculture buying clubs, and family farms located in metropolitan green belts near urban centers.
Urban Agriculture is immensely important because people growing food and forestry (small orchards and street trees) in stewarded spaces create safer places, a sense of ownership by beautification, can express cultural heritage and identity, memorialize people and histories, promote public health, healing, stress reduction, trauma management and improve environmental quality.
Growing Urban Agriculture to Cultivate Resilience
Populations in the United States continue to migrate from rural to urban and suburban communities. This has and will continue to shift the strength of the Cooperative Extension System’s (CES) legislative support. Urban citizens benefit from the research-based food production, nutrition, and development programs, and data that Cooperative Extension programs offer, and current programs can be expanded. Extension supported, replicated, or initiated programs and data:
- Catalyze urban and rural farmer partnerships
- Bridge production gaps through shared values
- Reinforcing local/regional economies
- Leverage supply chains
- Enhance small market outlets
Source: Cooperative Extension Advocacy and Education ToolkitCooperative Extension
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