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Online Urban Farmer Training

Extension Education

Helen Muntz
Extension Assistant Professor
Utah State University


With the increase of urban agriculture in Utah, and their benefits to our communities (food accessibility, environmental sustainability, community connection and health), Extension needs to expand resources for urban agriculture systems.


The number of small farms, or micro farms, defined as 1-9 acres, increased by six percent between 2007 and 2012 (USDA, 2012). Along with the growth of urban agriculture comes a variety of benefits to communities, including food security, environmental sustainability, and physical and mental health (Hazell, 2005; Colasanti et al., 2012). Urban farms provide communities with access to fresh and local food, which addresses concerns of both food security and environmental sustainability (Lovell, 2010). In 2012, 14.8% of Utah’s population experienced food-insecurity, with was above the national food-insecurity rate of 12.3% reported in 2016 (Coleman-Jensen, Rabbitt, Gregory, & Singh, 2017). The reduced cost of transportation and packaging required in urban farm systems is often reflected in market prices, making local commodities more available at lower costs (Hazell, 2015), and thus more affordable for low-income families. Furthermore, systems such as farmers markets and community gardens have shown to increase fruit and vegetable intake (Savoie-Roskos,, 2015) and builds community relationships, cultural identity, recreation, and more realistic understanding of and personal connection with food (Lovell, 2010). Multiple studies have cited that increasing social bonds, crisis support, greater resource acquisition including funding and positive policy creation are benefits of urban agriculture (Santo et al., 2016). Additionally, urban farming supports increased biodiversity, micro-climate regulation, reduced air pollution, recycling of organic waste through composting, and upholds cities’ capacity to produce food in times of crisis (Santo et al. 2016). The reduced energy input required in urban farm systems can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Lovell, 2010).


Increase in:

  • Outreach locally and globally through online recourses,
  • Success & profitability for Utah Beginner Urban Farmers,
  • Sustainable practice through education,
  • Accessibility of locally grown produce/agricultural products,
  • Funding for expansion of course content.


  • 80% increase in knowledge of urban farming,
  • 60% urban farming operations re-analyzing business plans,
  • 20% implement changes within project period.


Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Helen Muntz, Ruby Ward
  1. Muntz, H. Extension Assistant Professor, Utah State University Extension, Utah, 84404
  2. Ward, R. Aggriculture Economics Extension Professor, Utah State University, Utah, 84321