Sustainable Agriculture Internship Including Study of Compost Nutrient Cycling in Urban Agriculture

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2018: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Spark Youth
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Manager:


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: municipal wastes, nutrient cycling, nutrient management
  • Education and Training: youth education
  • Energy: byproduct utilization
  • Natural Resources/Environment: drift/runoff buffers, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization
  • Soil Management: composting, soil analysis, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, leadership development, partnerships, quality of life, social networks, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Every summer, 30-40 youth gain paid, real-world job experience as Spark-Y interns, completing green projects for
    community partners as teams and gaining real-world experience supporting sustainable agriculture. The team
    funded by this grant would work to design, build and/or improve a school or community garden to be chosen from
    a pool of proposals by Spark-Y partners. They also would have the opportunity to participate in a research team
    at the University of St. Thomas to better understand nutrient cycling in urban agriculture.  

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Provide student interns with project management, entrepreneurial, and sustainable systems training.
    2. Empower students to educate and inspire their communities through presentations demonstrating that green
    agricultural systems are both approachable and offer return-on-investment.
    3. Provide real-world fundraising and marketing experience to student interns to equip them to gather the
    resources and interest necessary to champion sustainable causes.
    4. Collaborate with a University of St. Thomas research group on nutrient study to ascertain how efficiently
    phosphorus from organic compost is recycled, with a goal to establish parameters that maximize yields and
    minimize pollution/runoff.

    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.