Back in February, we put out a call to university students from across the country: Find a solution to an agricultural or food challenge in your community. Today, we’re happy to announce the two winners of that first Cultivate Community Competition, sponsored by the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge. We couldn’t be prouder to provide support to these great projects:
Winner: John Holm, University of Minnesota: Youth and Elder Community Garden in Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood
The first-place winner, John Holm, submitted a proposal to add a youth- and senior-focused expansion to the Cedar-Riverside community garden. The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis has an average poverty rate of 44% and many in the urban area may not have access to fresh produce on a daily basis.
John’s project seeks to promote greater involvement across age ranges to create a more community-focused narrative and encourage accessible healthy eating through a community garden. The expansion on the already-existing community garden will provide more space for youth involvement, allowing kids of all ages to learn more about sustainable food production. The expansion will also create a raised garden table for the use of both the elderly and those with mobility limitations.
Second place: Wartburg College Education Majors -- Sadie Short, Becca Montgomery and Sidney Baumgartner, Classroom Aquaponics
A group of students from Wartburg College in Iowa will create an aquaponics system that can be used within their education program. This will allow young students to see the food production process firsthand, regardless of the climate or weather. They plan to lay out three schematic plans for systems that can be housed in classrooms that students of any age can experiment with by adding different plants and aquatic animals.
These locally-driven solutions are not only created by young university students, but are also directly benefitting the generation behind them.
As a nearly 100-year-old farmer-owned cooperative, we know that change, true change, happens at the local level every day, when we reach across the table to others. The next generations are a key part of finding solutions for food insecurity that will involve everyone across our urban and our rural communities.