Fueled by factors such as the local food movement, urban agriculture has been gaining support and popularity. Urban growers can often take advantage of unused or underutilized spaces, such as vacant lots, back yards, roadsides, and even rooftops to produce useful crops. Urban agriculture is not limited to fruits and vegetables, however, as such enterprises as livestock, beekeeping, and aquaculture are also options. Urban agriculture also holds special potential for farmers with disabilities and returning veterans. The cost of purchasing land and equipment, which are often prohibitive for those starting out in traditional farming, can be minimized in urban settings. In addition, tasks can be more easily tailored to the individual’s physical and/or psychological limitations. However, this form of agriculture is not without risks, particularly financial ones.
Emily Toner is urban agriculture educator for Purdue Extension - Marion County in Indianapolis. She has lived in Indy for two years and supports the urban agriculture community by providing direct education opportunities as well as building the food system community. Emily is originally from Iowa, where she received a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Iowa State University. She also has two graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, a Master of Science in geography and a Master of Arts in journalism.
Cindy Chastain is the farmer veteran AgrAbility coordinator, responsible for networking with AgrAbility Projects and other relevant organizations to improve opportunities and outcomes for farmer veteran AgrAbility clients. Cindy grew up on a family farm in Indiana, earned a bachelor's degree in animal sciences from Purdue, and then served as an Army officer for more than 31 years, including service as Deputy Commander of the 1-19th Agribusiness Development Team from 2008-2010, which was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010.
To participate in this free one-hour webinar, please register online by Monday, February 22. Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by Wednesday, February 24.