The overall purpose of the proposed project is to identify the needs of urban farmers in Georgia, building on the work of the UCOC pilot in Atlanta, and connecting urban farmers with customized resources from FSA, other agencies of USDA, UGA, and other state, federal, and non-governmental organizations who can help urban farmers in Georgia achieve their own locally identified goals through the development of projects addressing the needs presented. Through the project described in this application, Archway proposes to apply its time-tested model to urban agriculture in Georgia. While this proposed project complements both of FSA’s goals for this program, the Archway Partnership model aligns most closely with Goal 1: Increase equity in urban food systems by expanding FSA’s outreach efforts to commercial urban producers through technical assistance, outreach, education, and research. For approximately the first six months to one year of the project, Archway Partnership faculty will conduct a thorough needs assessment of urban farmers in Georgia, utilizing the UCOC pilot in Atlanta as a hub to connect with urban farmers from around the state. The first step of this process will be partnering with UGA’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development to conduct a series of listening sessions with urban agriculture producers in Georgia. The Fanning Institute provides access to a computer system that can collect information from all participants and share that information in real-time, leading to more in-depth conversations and results within a community. We will widely advertise these listening sessions to urban agriculture stakeholders throughout Georgia, taking great pains to ensure diverse, representative participation. At these listening sessions, we will ask stakeholders about the trends, forces, and factors they are facing in urban agriculture in Georgia and what needs they have to help them build more equitable urban food systems in the state.
After the needs assessment is completed, we will spend the remaining two to two-and-a half years of the project period working with stakeholders to implement customized solutions like those described above to meet the locally identified needs of urban farmers in Georgia.
PI: Michelle Elliott