Contact: Rep. Goyke

Federal USDA grant follows on urban farming legislation introduced by Rep. Goyke calling for a School of Urban Agriculture in Wisconsin

MADISON – The University of Wisconsin – Madison recently received a three year federal grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to initiate the creation of a School for Urban Agriculture. The new school, as part of the University’s Farming the City Project, will target students, farmers, and non-profit staff.

This legislative session Rep. Goyke introduced the “The Wisconsin Urban Farming Futures” Initiative that focused on promoting urban agriculture in Wisconsin, including funding and siting for a future urban agriculture school (Assembly Bills 671672673674).

According to the grant description the new school and program will “…create curricula that meets the needs of students seeking short, intense training in specific aspects of urban agriculture (workshop and short course instruction) and the needs of four-year baccalaureate students who are interested in enhancing their education in this emerging content area.

…Importantly, the project will also target secondary students in an existing pipeline for college-level agricultural training in Wisconsin.  In doing so, the project envisions a future workforce of urban farmers reflecting the social composition of the communities where many urban farms are being established.”

In response to the grant announcement and in support of its goals, Rep. Goyke stated:

“The fields of urban farmers look very different than the dairy farm my grandfather owned. Urban Agriculture offers a modern expansion of one of Wisconsin’s strongest traditions and can transform urban communities. In Milwaukee, we’ve seen new life spring from the ashes of old industry. Growing fresh healthy food in and near cities offers positive economic activity, job skills training, brings diverse communities together, and offers access to quality healthy food. Wisconsin’s agricultural future rests in the hands of future farmers, including those in this emerging sector of our agricultural economy. This new initiative and school will provide the tools and skills necessary for Wisconsin’s urban farmers to be successful.”

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