The Ohio State Alliance Pitch to the Community is a chance to learn more about their top teams and their ideas to foster true social mobility, true equality of opportunity, and a true middle class that is attainable and sustainable. The event will be held Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. Follow this link to learn more.
Roland Ebel of the Sustainable Food Systems Program at Montana State University conducted a research project to determine the extent to which an ancient Aztec agricultural technique could benefit 21st century horticultural needs. Ebel examined the use of “chinampas” with the hope of discovering their modern utility. A chinampa is a raised field on a small artificial island on a freshwater lake (usually surrounded by canals and ditches), where vegetables can be produced year round. The irrigation needs of chinampas is low and the productivity extremely high. Chinampas provide fresh produce for a megacity such as Mexico City and are conceivable around many of today’s exploding urban areas. Ebel’s findings are illustrated in the article Chinampas: An Urban Farming Model of the Aztecs and a Potential Solution for Modern Megalopolis “Today, many cities face very similar challenges as Mexico City did 700 years ag – a rapidly growing population, and less and less arable land available for food production. Highly intensive production systems with low resource demand are, therefore, a strategic goal of urban agriculture developers. Thus, while most strategists emphasize high-tech solutions such as complex vertical farms, I think it is worthwhile to learn from the achievements of our ancestors,” states Ebel. Follow this link to read more.
Coordinated by graduate student Hannah Whitley in Penn State’s Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, the Female Farmer Photovoice Project explores how socially constructed identities complicate barriers and opportunities for urban growers and connect to broader institutional inequities that perpetuate these problems. This past spring, 18 female urban agriculturalists were given disposable cameras and asked to take pictures that “tell their story” of urban agriculture. After three weeks of picture taking, participants met for a reflection meeting to share their photos, select which ones they wanted to share with the public, create titles, and write narratives for their photographs. These images and stories now are displayed on the project website’s digital gallery, www.thefemalefarmerphotovoiceproject.org, and in an exhibition that will travel across Pennsylvania and the Northeast this year. Whitley said she hopes the project will raise awareness of the importance of this kind of research. Follow this link to learn more.
Communities flourish when everyone within them has the opportunity to flourish. When urban-serving universities and communities join forces, we can confront the complexities of education, healthcare, economic, and human development in order to:
Prepare an increasingly diverse workforce to successfully navigate careers through technological, economic, and social change.
Assess, treat, and prevent urban health risks for increasingly diverse populations.
Create sustainable solutions for continued and inclusive growth that improve the quality of life in our communities.
Join educators, industry, nonprofit, and community leaders at The Ohio State University on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST in the Ohio Union to exchange ideas and reinvigorate the collective efforts toward strengthening and sustaining vibrant, inclusive communities. Follow this link to learn more.
At the top of a three-story building in Hong Kong, with car horns blasting on the streets below, Jim Fung teaches a dozen students how to thin out choi sum vegetables. “Always use the resources you have,” the instructor said as he placed shredded office paper into soil-filled plastic crates and wound string around bamboo sticks to make support frames. Fung was coaching the first cohort of students in an academy run by social enterprise Rooftop Republic to teach a new generation of urban farmers as demand for their skills soars. The organization is spearheading a movement to turn Hong Kong’s idle rooftops and urban spaces into farms to help residents reconnect with nature and make the finance hub more livable. Follow this link to learn more.
Across the country, local leaders are recognizing the benefits of reaching across jurisdictions to address climate issues. While regional collaborations of any kind can be challenging, elected officials and their staff know that social, economic, infrastructural, and ecological systems transcend city and county lines. Local leaders are partnering with academic institutions, nonprofits, regional planning councils, and other metro-regional stakeholders. Currently, there are at least 17 regional climate coalitions in the U.S. In early 2019, Council Member Lindsey Constance of Shawnee, Kansas, and Mayor Mike Kelly of Roeland Park, Kansas, took up this challenge, initiating The Metro Kansas City Climate Action Coalition with the goal of assembling elected leaders from the bi-state region to “draw down greenhouse gases, improve climate resilience, and generate corresponding economic, social, health, and quality of life benefits.” Follow this link to learn more.
Publishing in journals provides an opportunity for Extension professionals to share their program, research, and teaching efforts with others and to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession. For many Extension professionals, however, the publication process can seem overwhelming and just the thought of it is enough to bring on writer’s block. An initial question often asked is: What can I write about? With time for writing at a premium, one of the keys is to work smarter by considering the publication potential presented by everyday Extension practice. This webinar will set participants up for success as authors by reviewing publication opportunities, the writing process, and how to overcome common mistakes. You’ll hear from Theresa Ferrari, an Extension Specialist in 4-H Youth Development, at The Ohio State University. She has varied experience as an author, reviewer, and editor of scholarly publications. She represents NAE4-HA on the board of Extension Journal, Inc. and is the chair of the Editorial Committee, which has oversight for publishing the Journal of Extension. The webinar will be held Friday, October 25, 2019 at 12 p.m. ET. Follow this link to learn more.