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Urban Agriculture

What is Urban Agriculture?

There is currently not a single formal definition for urban agriculture as the definition depends upon policy, state, or the community. Urban agriculture is a general term that refers to city and suburban agriculture that often takes the form of backyard, roof-top, school, and community gardens. The 2018 Farm Bill refers to the urban farming demographic as urban, indoor, and other emerging agriculture production.

Why is it important?

Urban agriculture is important because it allows for the development of a variety of environmental, economic, and social benefits to the surrounding communities. To name a few, it can help reduce runoff associated with heavy rainfall, lead to better air quality, promote local and sustainable food systems, is good for the environment, brings communities together, improves the health of citizens, increases access to healthy, affordable, fresh produce, and provides communities with opportunities to learn about nutrition and growing food.

In 2020, the Wyoming Department of Health funded a Community Needs Assessment of Crook County. See the Assessment here:  Crook County Needs Assessment.

In this document, the number of people reported living in an urban area (Hulett, Moorcroft, Pine Haven, Sundance) was 44% and 56% live outside of city limits. The poverty rate was 8%, the food insecurity rate of those surveyed was 9.5%, food assistance was listed in the top six priority needs for our County and 36.3% of the Crook County School District students qualified for free or reduced lunch rate.

The University of Wyoming Extension established the “Learning Lab” at the rodeo grounds in Sundance in 2011. It is meant to be utilized for demonstrations and education for the community. A greenhouse and outdoor planters were built in 2011. A native plant/pollinator garden was developed in 2021 and a geodome was also constructed in 2021. Food grown at the Learning Lab has been used to educate local students and provide food to local schools and food pantry. 
The Learning Lab will be utilized to address some of the community needs in Crook County, bringing some of the benefits listed previously and opening more opportunities throughout the County.

How can you help?

Please give your input through completing the following survey! Click here:  Community Needs Survey

A snowy field with a geodesic dome structure, bare trees, and a clear blue sky.
UW Learning Lab at the Crook County Fairgrounds
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