New American Urban Farm Program

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2018: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Omaha Home For Boys - Cooper Farm
Region: North Central
State: Nebraska
Project Coordinator:
Scott Yahnke
Omaha Home for Boys

Information Products


  • Vegetables: beans, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), peppers, sweet potatoes, taro, tomatoes


  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, networking
  • Farm Business Management: business planning, risk management
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, quality of life, social networks, urban agriculture

    Proposal summary:

    The New American Urban Farmer Program is a program to train refugees and new immigrants in agriculture and farm business best practices. The targeted participants are a part of 6,038 refugees living in Omaha, NE since 2011 in one of the largest food deserts in the city. Many of them struggle with barriers to housing, transportation, language, employment, and lack of a social network. The purpose of this initiative is to identify and measure indicators to teach best practices using sustainable farming methods to improve participant production and farm business skills and knowledge with the intent of New Americans learning to grow and increase culturally relevant healthy food choices for their family and community at-large and establishing roots in their new community. The program includes an incubator process where participants will practice their skills before being granted a vacant city lot to develop their own farm. An impact analysis of this project will explore new social networks for refugees and potential effects on connecting with their new home community. The project will also collect and analyze soil data to assess the impacts of regenerative farming on the vacant city lots.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Train new Americans on best practices in sustainable urban farming
    2. Reduce New Americans isolation and loneliness by helping to build connections to new
    3. Increase access to nutritious and healthy foods in low-income and at-risk populations
    4. Investigate soil quality improvements with the New American’s native agricultural practices
    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.