On-Farm Internships to Increase Sustainable Urban Farming in Lake County, Indiana

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2022: $39,997.00
Projected End Date: 12/20/2024
Grant Recipient: Purdue Extension
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:
Rebecca Koetz
Purdue Extension


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking
  • Farm Business Management: apprentice/intern training
  • Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    A grant was previously awarded to Purdue Extension and the City of Gary to facilitate an initiative that involved creating an urban farming course for the people of Gary, IN. The project also allowed course participants to apply their knowledge through on-farm internships, pairing them with a local farmer mentor. Overwhelming participant feedback indicates the most valuable component of this learning experience has been the on-farm internships and mentorships. The purpose of this proposal is to continue to grow sustainable urban agriculture in Lake County, IN by funding on-farm internships and mentorships for new and beginning urban farmers, and part of the grant manager’s salary. The grant manager will manage the interns and mentors, and apply for sustainable local sponsorships to continue providing internships/mentorships, and avoid reliance on grants.


    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Secure sustainable local funding to continue this project indefinitely.
    2. Provide paid on-farm internships to Lake County residents who participate in an urban farming course.
    3. Provide pay incentives to urban farmer mentors to facilitate on-farm learning experiences for urban farming interns.
    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.