Urban Farm for Akron-area Immigrant Youth and Their Families

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2022: $6,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/15/2024
Grant Recipient: Shanti Community Farms, Inc.
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Manager:
Thomas Crain
Shanti Community Farms, Inc.


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: mentoring, networking, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: community-supported agriculture, farmers' markets/farm stands, labor/employment
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, partnerships, public participation, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Through the use of a real working immigrant urban farm with native seed crops provided by the Akron Zoo, primarily managed and operated by Bhutanese and Congolese farmers, the immigrant youth will be educated through hands-on experience and adaptation of farm to school curriculum.  Career practices will include the implementation of a farmers market, catered picnics/culinary arts and CSA. The main goal is to ensure that agricultural heritage with inherent sustainable practices from local immigrants (85%  have agricultural backgrounds) are preserved and enhanced through the upcoming generations.  Also, adaptation of native crops will also be integral to the program.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Enhance sustainable farming heritage skills of immigrant middle-high schoolers through work sessions with farmers via Akron Zoo farm demonstration plots.
    2. Introduce immigrant youth to ag career through Public Schools’ Career Academy via meetings with immigrant farmers, chefs, grocers.
    3. Provide students with background on sustainable agriculture practices via IATP’s Farm2School Youth Leadership curriculum and Growing Minds’ resources. Students will research/lead sessions on adapting native seed from their respective home country’s climate and other factors to Northeast Ohio.
    4. Give youth direct marketing experience via farmers market/catered picnics for public at Zoo.
    5. Share project results through forum and social media.




    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.