That Farmer Looks Like Me: Encouraging Urban Youth to Engage in Farming

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2023: $5,984.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2025
Grant Recipient: New City Neighbors
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Manager:
Lance Kraai
New City Neighbors


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: mentoring, networking, youth education
  • Sustainable Communities: leadership development, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    This project will introduce 30 high school youth annually to a career in sustainable farming and value-added production. Youth will be offered employment in our farm or café social enterprise where they will gain hands on skills in farming and food production. Employment will be coupled with weekly curriculum that will be relatable to urban youth. Youth will engage in topics like racism and sexism in the food system, food sovereignty, food accessibility and go on field trips to Black and Brown food entrepreneurs. Youth will then host community events to share lessons learned to other youth and the community.     

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Provide 60 youth employees positions in farming and value-added production to urban high school youth in order to offer hands-on learning experiences in sustainable agriculture.
    2. Attend 4 field trips to Black and Brown leaders in the food system so that urban youth of color see themselves represented in the sustainable food industry.
    3. Provide interactive curriculum around racism and sexism in the food system so that urban youth have a lens to analyze their involvement in the food system.
    4. Youth employees will present lessons learned through the project at a small farm conference and on social media.  
    5. Youth employees will plan and lead two community events to showcase lessons learned to the surrounding community.
      2022 Youth led community event panel discussion on racism and sexism in the food system.
      2022 Youth Led Panel Discussion on "Isms" in the Food System.
    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.