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Sustainable Agriculture

Missouri is home to many small farms, sustainable farms and minority owned farms. The resources below provide information on the different types of sustainable agriculture practiced on small farms today as well as some resources for minority farms.

Missouri 4-H

4-H clubs are for youth ages 8 to 18 and are found in both urban and rural Missouri communities. 4-H strives to create a world in which youth and adults learn, grow and work together for positive change. It is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States. 4-H youth programming results in competent, capable, caring, contributing youth.

Missouri FFA

Missouri FFA is 25,762 members strong. FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population by helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways through their experiences in agricultural education. Today’s FFA members are future biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers and entrepreneurs.

University of Missouri Outreach & Extension Publications

The University of Missouri Extension program publishes a wide range of research-based information that can help you make informed decisions to improve your life at home and work. Many of their publications are related to small farming, both vegetables and livestock.

Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program

The Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program works with small farmers and ranchers, but also focuses on urban food production in the two largest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis. Coordinated through Lincoln University, one of the program’s goals is to help limited resource minority residents, especially the elderly, get access to fresh, nutritious produce. They have formed partnerships with various groups and community garden organizations that promote urban agriculture. If you are interested in growing a garden in your backyard or in your neighborhood, please contact the Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program.

Annie’s Project

Annie’s Project is an educational program dedicated to strengthening women’s roles in the modern farm enterprise. To date, classes have been taught in 34 states. Through six educational sessions, Annie’s Project fosters problem solving, record keeping and decision-making skills in farm women. Missouri Extension Centers offer classes throughout the state.

Missouri Farmers Market Association

The Missouri Farmers Market Association is a group of markets, market managers, market supporters and vendors working together to make Missouri farmers markets healthful, vibrant and vital parts of their communities.

MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences)

MANRRS is a professional organization that strives to help its members develop the skills necessary to excel in their educational careers and cultivate professional skills. As such, MANRRS members have the opportunity to network with other ethnic professionals in the fields of agriculture, natural resources and related sciences.

Missouri AgrAbility Project

The AgrAbility Project helps increase the likelihood that farmers, ranchers, farm workers, and farm family members who are limited by any type of disability or chronic health condition employed in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations can become more successful. It’s about cultivating success in agriculture, employment and rural life for people with disabilities and their families. The AgrAbility mission is to enhance and protect quality of life and preserve livelihoods. The AgrAbility philosophy represents the very ideals that define American agriculture. It’s about supporting and promoting growth and independence.

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture seeks to promote and work toward the establishment, development and maintenance of a functional, efficient and, above all, sustainable local food system in the city of Columbia, Missouri. The center is a local nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers, vegetable sales, landscaping clients, grants and the generosity of the public to fulfill its mission.

St. Louis Urban Farm and Sustainable Development Group

A group of St. Louis area residents who are interested in urban farming and sustainable development. The goal is to help to create neighborhoods that are self-reliant, safe, abundant, and contain a diverse range of cultures. This group has monthly meetings throughout St. Louis.

Backdoor Harvest

Located in St. Louis, this organization works with urban residents to assist them in growing their own food in their backyard. They offer three membership levels, one where you keep all of your produce and the others will be shared with others in the St. Louis area through a subscription program or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

Cultivate Kansas City

Cultivate Kansas City works to create a Kansas City where:

  • Sustainable, community-engaged farms are scattered throughout the metro, providing an abundance of fresh and healthy food to city residents
  • There are opportunities for people to earn income through farming
  • Unused spaces are turned to food producing farms and gardens
  • Appropriately scaled agriculture is understood and practiced as an integral part of a beautiful, lively and healthy neighborhood

 

Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Program

The Community Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture Program began in 2001 to provide the people of Missouri with information about sustainable agriculture and to support communities in decision-making processes to sustain themselves and their natural resources. Extension faculty link university resources with producers, consumers, institutions and organizations; encourage networking; enhance the relationships between MU Extension field faculty and Missouri communities; and educate producers, consumers and communities about sustainable food and farming opportunities.

Missouri Alternatives Center

The Missouri Alternatives Center sorts through the masses of information to point producers in the right direction. The center works to improve its clients’ profitability, and at the same time, maintain the agricultural base needed to sustain rural communities by providing access to the information they need. The Missouri Alternatives Center serves as a communications center for Missouri farmers, Extension staff, government personnel and people who want to begin farming, diversify their current operation, or find ways to profit from small amounts of acreage. The center has answered more than 85,000 information requests on about 3,200 topics since opening in 1989.

Alianzas Program

Alianzas is a statewide program of MU Extension and the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC) Institute for Human Development. The program was recognized in 2001 in response to the influx of Hispanic/Latino residents in Missouri. Alianzas provides training and support to MU Extension and its partners in response to the changing demographics in Missouri communities. Alianzas promotes and supports cultural diversity as community strength. Alianzas mission is to foster inclusive communities that recognize and address the unique qualities and challenges of Hispanic/Latino residents using a community-based, collaborative learning approach.

Supporting the future of farming

Over $1.5 million given to local 4-H and FFA organizations

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