food justice

Urban Farmer Training Program 2024

Looking to bulk up your skills this season and really learn how to utilize your space and work within your environment?  Check out the class put on by our UConn Extension Urban Farming Educator, Jaqueline Kowalski!

The next course runs March 5-May 7, 2024 on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Cost is: $15O, includes course materials, one soil test, and optional growing season field experience.Flier with flower, tomatoes and people and a list of topics


Sign up here:

Topics include:

  • Working with the city and zoning
  • Site selection and modification
  • Food justice in our communities
  • Intensive vegetable and flower production
  • Integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Season extension
  • Business of farming
  • Selling your product
  • Resources available to urban farmers

Tackling Food & Justice, Youth Style!

youth food justice zoom event powerpoint and participantsOn Wednesday, August 18th, The CT Farm to School Collaborative partnered with The CT Youth Food Program Alliance to host a virtual event, for youth, by youth!

The virtual event included a career panel, and mini-workshops, that were hosted by the following Youth MCs, Sayaada Arouna of Grow Hartford Youth Program, Melyssa Cristino of Grow Windham, and FoodCorps CT Alumni, Ms.Vetiveah Harrsion.

Thank you to our CT Farm to School Youth Planning Committee Interns, Darlenne Cazarin, Common Ground High School Alum, Treyvion Taylor of Nonprofit Accountability Group, Fatima Santos of Stamford Public Schools, and adult lead planner, Ally Staab FoodCorps CT Alumni.

This event was created with the intention to expand opportunities for youth in CT farm to school.  What better way than to engage youth in educationally fun workshops related to nutrition, food justice, careers, and farm life. Local CT community leaders were our workshop facilitators and career panelists.

At the end of the event, students were sent a Certificate of Contribution, and Grow Kits from UConn Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Students also were invited to become youth participants in UConn’s EFNEP Program.

Seeking to Contract an Urban Farmer Trainer

soil on shovelUConn Extension is actively seeking to contract with an expert to coordinate and lead learning events over 3 years (2021-2024) for urban farmers in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven. By deepening skills through knowledge sharing and immersive day-long events, our vision is to build a network of urban farmers and urban agriculture service providers within and between
Connecticut’s urban centers.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right person who is passionate about the interconnected issues of food, health, land, equity, and justice, dependable, enjoys connecting and working with people with diverse backgrounds, and demonstrates an array of skills and knowledge related to both urban farming and event organization.

This is a grant-funded opportunity. UConn will contract an individual/entity for urban farming training services for one year, with opportunity for renewal in 2022 and 2023 based on performance.

With funding from USDA, UConn Extension coordinates Solid Ground Trainings for new and beginning farmers across Connecticut. As an element of Solid Ground programming, UConn Extension aims to address the need for tailored and specific urban farming training.

Urban Farming Trainings: The project will deliver two full day learning events in Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven, for a total of 6 learning events per year. Learning events will be implemented in partnership with community-based organizations (including Green Village Initiative, Park City Harvest, and Keney Park Sustainability Project).

Each learning event will center farming systems in urban settings, which may include soil-based systems under natural light, as well as soil-less growing systems that are climate controlled. Skills training may include topics such as community organizing and outreach, marketing, food justice, and how to access more land for growing.

Intended Audience: We aim to reach anyone with 10 years or less of farming experience, including aspiring farmers in urban areas of Connecticut.

Timeline: Planning for these learning events will be conducted via Zoom with community-based partners in early spring, and implemented in-person between April and October. The exact timing of each learning event will depend on the preferences of community-based partners. The planning and implementation of learning events will be supported by UConn Extension educators, per availability and where needed.

Project Director – Jiff Martin, UConn Extension Educator in Sustainable Food Systems.

● Lead 2 planning meetings with all partners from all 3 cities, in order to cross-pollinate ideas. Each planning meeting will focus on identifying training topics that community- based partners have identified are needed by urban farmers in their network/programming. Jiff Martin and Shuresh Ghimire (UConn Extension Commercial Vegetable Crops Educator) will participate in planning meetings.
● Develop a plan for delivering 6 all-day trainings (2 each in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven). Community-based partners are responsible for venue and the trainer is responsible for teaching. Each training may be unique, although we envision substantial
similarity between the three communities and learning priorities.
● Create curriculum materials as needed to support learning events and participants
● Implement 6 all-day trainings, includes a day-long schedule of learning, networking, ensuring materials are procured and available for participants, incorporating networking time into the day, scheduling guest trainers if needed/possible (community partners will be willing to assist if needed and Extension educators may also be available if needed, there is no funding for guest trainers)
● Support the communication and evaluation needs of UConn Extension in supporting this project. This responsibility is likely to include:
o Assist and provide input on graphic content for program materials
o Assist and provide input on outreach strategies to ensure broad access
o Ensure program materials are consistent and clear, and available online as appropriate
o Assist with evaluation of the trainings, in accordance with requirements of USDA

To Submit – Send a proposal detailing experience, approach, and fees by February 26th to

People of color, women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and members of traditionally underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.

CT Food Justice VISTA Project is Recruiting

VISTA flyer recruiting services members for 2018-19 for food justice projectsThe CT-Food Justice VISTA Project is recruiting for the 2018-2019 year, and we are also seeking a VISTA Leader to help manage the project with our Project Assistant. Our project is sponsored by UConn Extension, in partnership with some of the most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations in low-income communities in Connecticut, is leading a multi-site project with 16 VISTA members in 2018-2019. This project is designed to strengthen programming and improve coordination among similar food security programs seeking to empower communities to create positive change in their food environment and improve access to healthy food.
VISTA Members help to build the capacity of their host site organization. Together, we strive for a multi-generational, racially and economically diverse group of leaders with the skills to move communities across Connecticut towards a just food system. With VISTA Member support, host sites commit to empowering their communities to have impact on food-related programs and services, and the food system in Connecticut as a whole.
Please see the links to the sites we are looking for both VISTAs and VISTA Leader:
For the VISTA Leader the applicant has to have served as an AmeriCorps Service Member or Peace Corps here is the listing for the VISTA Leader. The VISTA Leader will serve out of the UConn Extension office of Tolland County and need a car to travel to our partner organizations for site visits and member support.
Below you will find the listing to the sites we have across the state that are recruiting for VISTA Service Members:
Visit our website for more information on our project: