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


    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. The program design supported the achievement of the project goal. Nineteen youth benefited from the training through employment in sustainable agriculture. These same youth communicated the values of sustainable agriculture to 500 people directly and 5000 consumers indirectly.


    Youth Employment Project (YEP) is a four-year project of Neighborhood Nutrition Network and Florida Organic Growers. Since its formal start in the year 2001, forty-four high school aged youth have been employed through YEP. The goal of the project is to grow food for sale and service to others in order to build a healthy community.

    Project objectives:

    Train 19 youth leaders in theories of sustainable agriculture, community building, and local government policy as it relates to rural communities and agriculture.
    Hire 2 youth as community liaisons to act as mobilizers in creating partnerships with community development agencies, local civic groups, and farm personnel.
    Promote outreach to community.
    Plan and host an activity during Alachua County’s Sustainable Agriculture Week to promote rural farming, sustainable agriculture, local restaurants, community education and involvement.
    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.