Urban Agriculture Programs
Urban agriculture provides so many benefits to our Indiana cities and towns. But it is hard work, and urban farmers and gardeners face challenges unique to urban areas such as soil contamination, along with limited access to land, capital, and trained workers. Most urban growers also juggle agricultural production with sustaining a social mission. Purdue Extension has many programs designed to support urban farmers and urban agriculture project leaders with these unique challenges.
Extension programs around the United States are beginning to serve urban farmers and community gardeners to meet these challenges, but efforts are developing city-by-city and widely used national urban agriculture extension programming does not exist.
The innovative Purdue Extension programs you'll find on this website seek to meet the needs of people growing food in an urban or peri-urban setting. These programs address the diverse audiences and interests for sustainable local food production and distribution by providing the technical expertise, networking and business and community development education. Since 2014, Purdue Extension has developed new programs to support urban farms and community agriculture projects and these programs are available in Marion County and other select counties around the state. Please browse the programs listed here for more information. If you cannot find information about a program in your county, please contact your local Purdue Extension county office for more information.
Urban Agriculture Certificate
The Urban Agriculture Certificate is a 100% online program developed by Purdue Extension where students receive in-depth instruction for urban crop production from farm design through harvest techniques. This certificate is tailored to the dynamics of urban agriculture for small scale and close to non-agriculture land.
Indiana Small Farm Conference
The Indiana Small Farm Conference serves as the annual educational and farmer-to-farmer networking event for the Indiana small and diversified farm community. This conference includes keynote presentations, a trade show, and opportunities for urban farmers to meet, network, and learn.
Indiana Horticulture Conference & Expo
The Indiana Horticulture Conference & Expo is an educational meeting designed to meet the needs of fruit, vegetable, wine, organics, and specialty crop growers and marketers in Indiana and surrounding states.
Purdue Student Farm
The Purdue Student Farm is a working small farm near Purdue’s campus that grows vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers using the principles that naturally govern balanced ecosystems, including emphasis on diversity, healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy people. Educational work is all about food and understanding how it intersects with environment and economy and community.
Johnnie Mae Farm
Operation of the Johnnie Mae Farm is a partnership between the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services and the Purdue Extension - Allen County. In 2015, the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services completed the historic renovation of former fire station #9 and equipped it with a state-of-the-art commercial grade kitchen, which is available for rent or use by community groups.
GRASS TO GARDEN
This program will equip communities, often composed of diverse audiences with little or no exposure to Purdue Extension, with interdisciplinary education and programming aimed at making successful agricultural and community development efforts and healthier communities with improved access to local food.