Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture to receive USDA grant for new program


A $300,000 grant from the U.S. Division of Agriculture will fund a paid apprenticeship program On the Columbia Center for Metropolis Agriculture for The subsequent three yrs. 

Based mostly on a information launch from The middle, This method focuses on enterprise enchancment and agricultural expertise, As properly as to enhancing group meals insecurity and food regimen-associated well being disparities by donating meals grown On the Columbia Agriculture Park, the place apprenticeship teaching will Happen.

Apprentices Shall be doing area work That options seeding crops Inside the greenhouse, watering, weeding, pest administration, and using gear and devices, in accordance to Billy Polansky, The middle’s authorities director. 

In partnership with Lincoln College, a traditionally black school in Jefferson Metropolis, This method goals to increase the Quantity of minority people Getting into urban agriculture and market farming.

The partnership hopes To incorporate the expertise of Lincoln College, whose Extension primarily serves small-scale farmers.

“Lincoln College has fullly different speciality crops, fruits, greens and agrienterprise specialists who Shall be actually useful in bringing fullly different voices to apprentices that our staff Wouldn’t primarily have,” Polansky said in an interview. 

Individuals who full This method will acquire a certificates from Lincoln College.

Apprentices who absolutely Decide to collaborating in All of the actions can apply to acquire a month-to-month stipend.

“Choice for these paid positions Shall be given to minority and socially-disadvantaged people,” the information launch said. 

If somebody can’t absolutely commit, They will nonetheless take part On this studying alternative as This method is “designed to be versatile,” in accordance to the information launch. 

Paid apprentices will do 10 hours of area work per week all by way of a 32-week rising season. They Might additionally take area journeys to fullly different farms and have lectures on rising methods.

The Columbia Agriculture Park Consists of a 3-acre plot of land, a yr-spherical farmers market, and a classroom for workshops.

The program is open to anyone and Shall start Inside the 2023 rising season. Purposes Aren’t being accepted Presently, however Polansky said he hopes They are going to be out there Inside The autumn.

These Considering about turning into an apprentice in This method can fill out an curiosity type.