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Develop policy recommendations to inform future improvement of USDA programs on urban agriculture

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Survey deadline was February 2, 2024

Kristin Reynolds
Chair, Food Studies
Director, Food and Social Justice Action Research Lab
Schools of Public Engagement
Faculty Affiliate
Tishman Environment and Design Center

By way of introduction, I am Chair and Assistant Professor of Food Studies at The New School in New York City. Over the past 15 years, my research has focused on various aspects of urban agriculture and social justice in the United States.

I am writing to ask for your participation in an online survey as part of a study that I am conducting with the help of two graduate students at The New School, and in consultation with Dr. Kara Woods, Research Analyst at the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center (The Policy Center) at Alcorn State University.

About the study:

The survey we are conducting is part of a larger study that seeks to address informational gaps about the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUIAP), its urban agriculture grant program, urban county offices and committees, and additional urban agriculture provisions included in the 2018 Farm Bill, as they relate to racial equity.

Through our research, we hope to better understand how racial equity is, or may be, taken into account in these USDA urban agriculture programs. The key goal of the project is to develop policy recommendations to inform future improvement of USDA programs on urban agriculture such that they contribute more thoroughly to social and economic equity for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (a USDA category), communities, and land owners in and around urban areas.

This study is supported with funding from The Policy Center at Alcorn State University. The mission of The Policy Center is to conduct research, analyze policy and make recommendations seeking to achieve equitable and economic integration of USDA programs and policies for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, communities and rural landowners.

About participating in the survey:

In order to participate in this survey, you must be at least 18 years of age AND meet one of the following criteria:

you meet the USDA definition of a Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher (that is, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, the categories used by the USDA) who is either a beginning farmer or rancher, lives in a limited-resource farm household, and/or is a woman farmer or rancher;
you are a Black, African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, Latino, Asian or Pacific Islander (categories used by the USDA), female, and/or LGBTQ+ farmer who does not otherwise meet the USDA definition of a Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher noted above;
you are an urban farmer or gardener, a leader of a community-based urban agriculture organization, or a current or former staff or volunteer member of a government urban agriculture program;
you are a past or current recipient of a USDA OUAIP grant;
you are a past or current applicant for a USDA OUAIP grant

If you choose to take part in this part of the study, you will complete an online questionnaire in the survey software Qualtrics. Your participation will take about 15-30 minutes.
While you will not directly benefit from taking part in this study, the findings of the study will inform policy recommendations that we hope will improve social equity aspects of USDA urban agriculture programs.
Please feel free to share my contact information with anyone who might be interested in participating in the survey. Please note that by “liking” or sharing this post, the perception of your or a friend’s participation in a research study will exist.
You may contact me with any questions: Dr. Kristin Reynolds, Chair and Assistant Professor of Food Studies, The New School, and study PI: [email protected]

A request for more information does not obligate you to participate in this study.

If you are willing to participate in the survey and meet the study criteria noted above, you may access the survey at the link here.

The survey will be open until February 2, 2024.


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