Sustainable Urban Food Production Course: Empowering Communities for Urban Agriculture Success

For the fourth consecutive year, an in-person or online short course in Sustainable Urban Food Production is being offered by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Any interested persons are invited, such as homeowners, educators, community gardeners, urban farmers, and entrepreneurs interested in urban farming.

“Urban agriculture has gained increasing public and private interests as nature-based solutions, improving ecosystem services, and achieving urban sustainability,” says Jiangxiao Qiu, an associate professor of landscape ecology at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) and course co-organizer. “This program covers many aspects of urban agriculture from regulation and marketing to production systems and much more.” 

Registration is US$125 for in-person classes and $100 for online. Classes will begin on October 16th, and will meet on Mondays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. for six weeks through November 20th. Participants will receive continuing education units, and a certification after completing the course.

Class dates and topics to be covered include:

  • Oct. 16 –  Introduction to Sustainable Urban Agriculture & Regulations;
  • Oct. 23 – Business and Marketing Plan, and Financial Resources;
  • Oct. 30 – Urban Food Production Systems;
  • Nov. 6 – Best Management Practices;
  • Nov. 13 – Technology Integration in Urban Agriculture; and
  • Nov. 20 – Post Harvesting & Food Handling.

“Our course was recognized with the 2023 Excellence Award in Sustainable Agriculture by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents as a successful program that increased adoption of sustainable agriculture practices among local farmers,” said Lorna Bravo, program co-organizer and director at UF/IFAS Extension Broward. “The knowledge gained from the short course will help participants start, manage, and expand their operations in local food production in urban and peri-urban settings.”