Four years ago our office learned of a program that was being offered in Franklin County – The Extension Master Urban Farmer Program. It was such a success in Central Ohio, we wondered if we could make it happen in Lucas County. As we gathered a group of key stakeholders, plans began to develop in the fall of 2015 the Extension Master Urban Farmer Program was offered in Lucas County. Locally, the program is a partnership between Ohio State University Extension and Toledo GROWs. Additional collaboration includes USDA National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Owens Community College, the Center for Innovative Food Technologies (CIFT), Lucas County Land Bank, and local producers.
Class size is limited to 25 participants each year. Every year we have reached that capacity. Session topics include: Soil Health, Crop Scheduling, Tool Care and Storage, Plant Science, Season Extensions, Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility, Fruits and Vegetable Production, Specialty Crops, Bees and Pollinators, Small Animal Husbandry, Good Agriculture Practices (GAP), Basic Business Planning, Marketing Boot Camp, Site Selection, and Keeping it Legal.
The 2017 is underway and the energy of the class is contagious! Participants are passionate about food, communities, and learning. They are a blend of backyard gardeners, community gardeners, and producers / future producers. Many are from Toledo, but we do have green thumbs from the east to west sides too. Upon completion of the 10 week, 30 hour program, participants will earn a certificate of the completion and leave the program with a network of individuals with a similar passion that can last a lifetime.
For more information contact Amy Stone, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, firstname.lastname@example.org