U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Under Secretary Ann Bartuska and Congressman Don Bacon today toured an Omaha urban agriculture program that is the product of a partnership between the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension and the Omaha Home for Boys.
The two joined other dignitaries on a tour at the Cooper Memorial Farm at 86th and Mormon Bridge Road. This program offers hands-on learning for young people and adults interested in obtaining skills for employment in agriculture or for starting their own enterprise. They were also joined by a group of Bryan High School students involved in their Urban Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy.
Dr. Bartuska says, “A growing interest in urban agriculture is generating creative approaches to growing fruits, vegetables and ornamentals in urban settings while also spurring economic development and developing a new generation of farmers. This remarkable partnership in Omaha has produced a program that not only holds promise for Nebraskans but can serve as an example for other cities.”
Through this partnership, young adults at the Omaha Home for Boys get a hands-on experience of raising food for their own table and for others. They have several large gardens and grow produce that is sold at farmers markets and for retail sales. They also get experience with livestock by raising cattle and chickens.
Congressman Bacon says, “This program offers an incredible opportunity for our youth to boost their knowledge and learn about the limitless career opportunities that are now available through agriculture involving technology, biology, economics and financial services.”