Marion County Extension Receives Community Engagement Program Award

Marion County Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences received a 2020 Community Engagement Program Award from the Office of Outreach and Engagement. “Heal, Repair, Restore” is a case study and story of land reuse and community empowerment. Here is an excerpt: “Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination against African-American farmers has led to their decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than two percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Further, black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to healthy food. Marion County possesses no special immunity in this regard.” Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The Ohio State University

High Tunnels New for Cincinnati Area

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer a new opportunity to those interested in growing urban and rural produce in the Greater Cincinnati area to apply for financial and technical assistance for high tunnel systems, commonly referred to as hoop houses. Imagine the delicious taste of baby spinach freshly harvested from your own garden, in Cincinnati, all winter long. Impossible, right? Not anymore. High tunnels make growing vegetables possible long after the first frost. A high tunnel sits over top of the garden. Arch shaped aluminum poles support removable heavy plastic sheets that trap heat from the sun, warming the air. Most have a peak height that allows an adult to stand easily with room to spare. They look similar to greenhouses except plants grow in the ground instead of in pots. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips

Infodemic: Half-Truths, Lies, and Critical Information in a Time of Pandemics Webinar

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, so does misinformation — thwarting efforts to control the disease and risking lives. In this webinar, Dr. Claire Wardle, a leading expert on content verification, will outline the global trends around information flows and the coronavirus. What misinformation is spreading? How is accurate information being shared? How are newsrooms, health authorities, platforms and businesses responding? During this unprecedented emergency, are we prepared for the impact of rumors and falsehoods that could have serious consequences? Together, we’ll discuss whether we are prepared during this unprecedented emergency for the impact of rumors and falsehoods that could have serious consequences.

The Webinar is being held Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 2-3 p.m. ET.

Follow this link to RSVP.
Follow this link to join the webinar.

Sourced from: The Aspen Institute

Anchor Institutions and their Role in Healthy Food Systems

Anchor institutions are entities that are important, long-term fixtures in a community and take some responsibility for that community’s successful development. They are usually non-profit organizations – such as universities, hospitals, and school systems – but may consist of large corporations, government centers, military bases, or sports teams. We should care about anchor institutions and their role in health because of the power and responsibility they carry. Anchors control large amounts of community capital and can influence the kind of employment options available, the quality of foods that are offered to students and employees, what medical care benefits are provided, or the reach of public transportation. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Community Commons

Federal FY21 Urban Agriculture Funding Request

The Subcommittee on Agriculture – Committee on Appropriations is circulating a letter to food and agriculture organizations to thank them for their work to support a vibrant and sustainable food and farm system and to request sign-on signatures. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 authorized the creation of an Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Sec. 12302) and an urban agriculture data collection initiative (Sec. 7212(b)); a critical first step in serving this growing sector of the U.S. agricultural economy. For Fiscal Year 2020 the Office was funded at $5 million. For the Fiscal Year 2021 agriculture appropriations bill, it is recommended to include $25 million to continue the work of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production and related activities and $10 million for the urban agriculture data collection initiative. Follow this link for more information on the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.

Sourced from: USDA

Ohio Celebrates the Agriculture Industry

Monday morning, assistant director Derickson kicked off Ohio Agriculture Week during a visit to 80 Acres Farms, a state-of-the-art, tech-centric indoor farm that’s housed entirely inside a Cincinnati-area warehouse. 80 Acres Farms is a 100 percent pesticide free, eco-friendly farm that delivers fresh produce to grocery stores across Ohio. “As a dairy farmer in Butler County for many years, I have a sincere appreciation for Ohio agriculture,” said Derickson. “This week recognizes and celebrate the many contributions that Ohio’s agriculture communities make to enhance the quality of life not only in our state, but throughout the country.”

Assistant Director Derickson will continue to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Week with more than a dozen events across Ohio in the coming days, including a stop at Jones Fish Hatchery, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jones Fish is a family owned, industry leader in aquatic resource management, pond aeration, and Midwestern gamefish stocking. Jones has six locations across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and northern Tennessee.

Follow this link to learn more.
Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips.

University of Dayton Engineering Students Help Mission of Mary Cooperative

University of Dayton engineering students have helped Mission of Mary Cooperative, a Dayton-based urban farming operation, become the city’s first net-zero energy organization through the New Buildings Institute, a third-party non-profit organization pushing for better energy performance in buildings. The Cooperative produced 52,000 pounds of food last year on its 2-acre campus in the Twin Towers neighborhood, all while operating on 100 percent renewable energy. “By becoming the first net-zero organization in Dayton, Mission of Mary Cooperative hopes to inspire other organizations and residents all while continuing to be a catalyst and partner for urban sustainable development,” says Michael Schulz, executive director of Mission of Mary Cooperative and one of its lay Marianist founders.
Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: University of Dayton

Urban Agriculture and Nutritious Food Production

A living, vertical salad bar in the employee break room is more than just a novelty at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center at Dallas. It is a small, and delicious, sign of the comprehensive urban agriculture research ramping up at the center in 2020. The purple-glowing installation arrived at Dallas with Genhua Niu, Ph.D., and Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor of controlled environment agriculture. Her research team represents one component of an overarching push by Texas A&M AgriLife to realize sustainable production of nutritious food within cities, the next frontier in commercial agriculture. Niu’s research is in urban horticulture specifically. This can conjure images of community and backyard gardens, or rooftop and balcony plant installations, but her focus is producing quality food in controlled environments. Her studies are especially relevant in Dallas, of which certain communities are urban food deserts and they carry promising implications for agriculture industries across rural Texas, too. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips