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Smart Urban Food Systems Summit

by: Danielle Treadwell, Associate Professor, Horticultural Sciences; Jiagxiao Qiu, Assistant Professor, Ft. Lauderdale REC;  Karla Shelnutt, Associate Professor, FYCS

Smiling group photo of the authors at the summitThe Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to promote investments in cutting edge research and development via public-private partnerships (https:// foundationfar.org/).

To keep abreast of new ideas and emerging needs to solve today’s complex challenges in food and agriculture, FFAR hosts “convenings”. These convenings are meetings that double as listening and visioning sessions focused on a specific issue or idea. The outcomes of the convenings help inform FFAR’s position, program development, and investment strategy for future projects. Urban food systems are one of six challenge areas designated by FFAR for 2019.

The Smart Urban Food Systems Summit was a convening held in Brooklyn, New York, November 5-6, and attended by UF/IFAS Extension State Specialists Karla Shelnutt (FYCS), Danielle Treadwell (HS) and Jiagxiao Qiu (FOR). The objective of the meeting was to define and prioritize barriers and opportunities for systematic changes in urban food systems and development of urban farming systems to better meet the nutrition needs of families throughout the US.

The team found that coordination and collaboration; creative partnerships; normalizing terms among different stakeholders; and big data were the main needs and goals of summit participants.

Continue reading on page 4 of Extension Comings and Goings.