Youth as Community Organizers

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2004: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $5,500.00
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Principal Investigator:
Ellen Huntley
Florida Organic Growers

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: potatoes
  • Fruits: berries (other), berries (strawberries), melons
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, peppers, tomatoes


  • Education and Training: demonstration, focus group, mentoring
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, agricultural finance, market study, value added, whole farm planning
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation, urban agriculture, community services, employment opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    Providing a platform for citizens to gain knowledge and make decisions regarding integral life choices requires a well-trained group of leaders to act as community builders and activists. The Youth as Community Organizers project will utilize youth farmers to educate, and train local citizens in concepts of sustainable agriculture, and practical use of sustainable agriculture techniques such as value added production. The project will take place in three phases: 1) training of youth farmers as leaders, 2) hosting of a farm educational activity for the general public 3) hosting a follow up event to train local citizens in value added production. The project will utilize partnerships with citizen leaders, farmers, local government and sustainable agriculture organizations in order to train 12 youth farmers. Training will consist of workshops and service opportunities for youth to learn about the workings of the local government, community development agencies and the local food system. Workshops will be held in conjunction with partners including the North Florida Local Food Partnership, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, and Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA The project will hire two youth leaders as community liaisons. These community liaisons with the Project Investigators will plan a community wide event to demonstrate a working local food system and its outputs. Following this event, youth leaders will continue to act as advocates and teachers by maintaining a presence in community meetings and gatherings. A second community wide activity will be a hands-on training for 25-40 community members to learn to create a value added entrepreneurial product.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The goal of this project is to create a trained group of youth leaders well versed in the issues surrounding sustainable agriculture, and utilize those leaders to educate and promote sustainable agriculture within Alachua County among broad based local citizens. Specific objectives are: 1. Train 12 youth leaders in theories of sustainable agriculture, community building, and local government policy as it relates to rural communities and agriculture. 2. Hire 2 youth as community liaisons to act as mobilizers in creating partnerships with community development agencies, local civic groups, and farm personnel. 3. Plan and host an activity during Alachua County’s Sustainable Agriculture Week to promote rural farming, sustainable agriculture, local restaurants, community education and involvement. 4. Plan and host a hands-on activity to train local citizens in value added production as an entrepreneurial extension of sustainable agriculture.

    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.