Youth Grow Indy Programming

Final report for YENC22-177

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2022: $4,237.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2024
Grant Recipient: Soul Food Project
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Manager:
Danielle Guerin
Soul Food Project
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Project Information


Youth Grow Indy's approach to youth development combines agriculture, business and service to create a demanding, real world and integrated experience. Youth will cultivate our urban farms, participate in workshops, attend field trips, and work to expand our communities food access. Dependent on the youth's age, the youth will be assigned various tasks around the farm, including completing the Junior Master Gardener curriculum or learning how to facilitate the curriculum. The farm will work to create a curriculum that integrates all these aspects for other farms to use.  

Project Objectives:
  • Create a system where youth are trained on sustainable agriculture practices from farmers, Purdue Extension and other professionals and then train their peers in these practices. 
  • Youth will be exposed to various careers in agriculture and educational opportunities.
  • To introduce urban youth to financially profitable, personally beneficial, and ecologically sound agriculture opportunities within their own neighborhood
  • Share project results through social media and presentations
  • Develop a year long curriculum (after school and summer) that exposes youth to all aspects of farming and its practices

Educational & Outreach Activities

2 Consultations
10 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
2 Published press articles, newsletters
1 Tours
1 Webinars / talks / presentations

Participation Summary:

2 Farmers/ranchers
25 Youth
4 Parents
2 Educators
25 Farmers participated
Education/outreach description:
  • 15 youth participated over the summer of 2022 through our 8 week program
  • Spoke at the Indiana Small Farm Conference in March 2023 on a panel titled "Working with Youth in Urban Ag"
  • News Article about us in the IndyStar
  • Consulting with another organization about starting a youth program
  • Youth hosted three tours over the course of the summer of 2022 showcasing their work 
  • Started working on the manual and an example of curriculum.
  • 4 youth participated in the 2022-2023 School Year Program
  • 8 Additional youth joined for the summer of 2023 program
  • 6 youth remained for the 23-24 School Year Program

Learning Outcomes

15 Youth reporting change in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness
Key changes:
  • To educate youth on sustainable, urban agriculture practices.

  • To instill a strong business sense and other life skills to prepare the youth for the adult world.

  • To perform our civic duty.

Results and discussion:

We conducted an exit survey with participants from the 2022 and 2023 summer programs. A total of 8 students responded and here are some highlights of the survey. 

100% reported that "The Youth Grow Indy program has provided me the opportunity to develop skills that would be valuable in the workplace/and or professional setting."

75% reported that "I know the basic knowledge necessary for growing food."

50% reported "I understand the benefits of integrating food access into a community."

62.5% reported "This program helps me build new skills (ex: leadership, collaboration, etc.)."

Project Outcomes

1 Number of youth considering a career in sustainable agriculture
4 Grants received that built upon this project
3 New working collaborations
Increased organizational support to explore and teach sustainable ag:

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.