Urban agriculture is the focus of June 27 webinar

Posted: June 21, 2014

Urban agriculture — including its economics, successes, and challenges — is the topic of a free web-based seminar being offered at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 27.
Urban farms face unique challenges, which will be discussed during the June 27 webinar. Image credit: Linda via Wikimedia Commons

Urban farms face unique challenges, which will be discussed during the June 27 webinar. Image credit: Linda via Wikimedia Commons

The webinar is sponsored by the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, which is directed by Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in urban agriculture, especially in the large cities along the Northeastern seaboard,” said Goetz, who will co-facilitate the webinar. “At the same time, many questions arise about current food production levels as well as future opportunities.”

This 90-minute webinar will feature scientists whose research focuses on these issues. Carolyn Dmitri, an applied economist at New York University, studies food systems and food policy. She is currently studying urban agriculture in 15 cities around the country, as well as food access issues in urban settings.

Melissa Poulsen is a fifth-year doctoral student in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and a JHU Center for a Livable Future-Lerner fellow. Her research centers on social considerations of urban farming, and she worked with the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability to develop the City’s urban agriculture plan.

The webinar will be moderated by Doolarie Singh-Knights, assistant extension professor of agricultural and resource economics at West Virginia University and the local and regional foods scholar at the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. As the Center scholar, Singh-Knights organized this webinar to help identify current research, teaching and extension efforts that promote practical and profitable responses to urban agriculture challenges. She also expects the webinars to promote regional collaboration in these areas.

“We organized this webinar series as part of the Northeast Center’s efforts to help build stronger networks among land-grant and related institutions in the Northeast,” said Singh-Knights. The webinar is the fourth in an occasional series organized by Singh-Knights that focuses on local and regional food systems. Previous webinars in the series are archived online. The series is designed for research, teaching and extension professionals and practitioners engaged in work related to the Northeast regional food system.

Register for "Urban Agriculture – Economics, Successes and Challenges: Research, Outreach and Education Implications for the Northeast” online or contact Singh-Knights by email for more information.