As COVID-19 continues to push families further into financial distress, making sure that families have access to all the benefits that they can is critical for the long-term viability of our communities. Pre-COVID-19 more than 37 million people, including more than 11 million children lived in a food-insecure household. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) more than 1 in 5 Black and Latinx adults with children reported in July that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat. Follow this link to learn more.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resource Division of Wildlife is accustomed to fielding complaints about nuisance deer, especially in urban areas. With the coronavirus pandemic keeping folks at home, more people are planting gardens for the first time. Someone new to the game might not know how to handle a hungry four-legged visitor, said Geoff Westerfield, a wildlife biologist with ODNR. Stark County’s deer population tends to be stable in rural areas, such as Minerva, and growing in more urban areas. In rural areas, ODNR can adjust hunting regulations to help keep populations in check. In cities, that’s not typically an option, and without control, populations will grow, he said. Follow this link to learn more.
Jodi Kushins, of Over the Fence Urban Farm, knows she doesn’t grow a lot compared to some farms. She feeds about 20 households through her CSA program, with 2,500 square feet in her yard and her neighbor’s yard. “It’s like a drop in the bucket,” she said. “Seeing a semi truck full of produce and then thinking about the very, very tiny amount of food I’m able to produce in my yard definitely gives me pause.”
Kushin’s farm is one of more than 30 in Columbus, up from about five in 2014. Urban agriculture is driven by desires for food security and fresh foods, vacant land in post-industrial areas and interest in connecting with farmers, said Mike Hogan, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Franklin County. “We know we’re not gonna feed the world with urban agriculture,” Hogan said. But Hogan believes that urban agriculture needs to be part of the city food systems. In Cleveland, about 80% of the vacant land could provide 20% of all the produce needed. Follow this link to learn more.
The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is the land-grant university of the Nation’s Capital. The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) embodies the land-grant tradition of UDC and offers academic programs in urban agriculture, urban sustainability, water resources management, nutrition and dietetics, urban architecture and community planning.
CAUSES seeks a graduate assistant to join its Professional Science Master’s Program in Urban Sustainability. The graduate assistant will work with a group of researchers to assess the current condition and survival of oak trees in the District of Columbia. Work will include evaluation of the presence of pests and pathogens, and measurement of abiotic factors that may negatively impact urban trees. Oak trees experiencing decline will be identified, mapped and sampled for pathogens and insect pests. Field work will be coordinated with public, private, institutional, and federal property owners across the District. The graduate assistant will collaborate with federal and District government agencies on the analysis, summary, and interpretation of data for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and for the general public in the form of blog posts and other publicly-available formats.
Applicants should first apply for the graduate assistantship through the Principal Investigator (PI) listed below. The successful applicant will then need to apply for the PSM in Urban Sustainability Program through UDC Admissions. Applicants should submit via email:
1) a letter of interest detailing their qualifications for the position (two-page maximum);
2) a curriculum vitae;
3) unofficial undergraduate transcripts; and
4) contact information for three professional references (institution, email address, and phone number).
Application deadline: Open until filled. Priority deadline is October 9, 2020.
Starting date: Spring semester, January 2021. Please note that the start date is not flexible.
Duration: One year, renewable for a second year with successful completion of expectations.
Contact: Please apply via email to Dr. Simon Bird at email@example.com
The Foodbank, Inc. in Dayton, Ohio has been a hub of activity since the coronavirus outbreak. With massive COVID-19 drive-thru distributions and assistance from the National Guard, this community food supplier has shared 17.8 million pounds with more 900,000 people this year in Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties, Ohio.
“Our community here in Dayton has had a difficult two years, starting first with a water crisis in February of 2019, 15 tornadoes in May of 2019, a mass shooting in August of 2019, and now COVID,” Lee Lauren (Alder) Truesdale, Chief Development Officer at The Foodbank. “Our team’s response to many of these emergencies, providing critical emergency food assistance, is only possible because our team knows how to be flexible, we know how to work together amid crisis, and we have the best supporters.” Follow this link to learn more.
Join the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) for the 2020 Land-Grant Cornerstone Conversation being held virtually during the 58th annual Farm Science Review on Tuesday, September 22. Dr. Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the CFAES and special guests, including Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, will discuss the future of agriculture research technology and prominent ways to ensure the food supply chain in Ohio and beyond. Follow this link to register.
This series of 10 evening workshops is designed to help individuals learn how to produce and market all types of food products in an urban environment. While the workshop content will be introductory, individuals who already have some experience growing or marketing food products will benefit from participating. The 2020 Master Urban Farmer class will be held utilizing a hybrid model of some in-person classes, some outdoor sessions, and many classes held virtually. The in-person sessions will utilize safety protocols including reduced class size, social distancing, face masks required, and no food served. Because of this, the cost of registration will be cut in half from $200 to $100 for the general public and $50 for Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers. Follow this link to learn more.
Each event will take place on the third Tuesday of the month, beginning with “Seeking Good, Clean, and Fair Food for All: Equity. Inclusion. Justice.” on September 15, from 6-7:15 p.m. The entire series is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required. Follow this link to learn more.