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U. of Missouri Prof to Conduct Urban Agriculture Survey, Build Online Database

September 14, 2011 |

Mary Hendrickson, a University of Missouri, Columbia Extension professor of rural sociology has been awarded a $20,000 from the Urban Sustainability Directors Network to survey urban agriculture activities around the nation and use the information compiled to build an online database that will serve as a shared information resource for groups and individuals looking to undertake urban agriculture projects around Missouri, as well as farther afield.

Hendrickson’s study will examine and catalog activities and issues such as zoning policies and food and sale ordinances. “We want to get a better feel for what’s out there,” Hendrickson told The Missourian. “That way, if a city somewhere gets a request to do backyard chickens, they can find cities that have done it.”

Professor Hendrickson is currently in the process of putting together a team of graduate students to carry out the project.

President of the board of directors for the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture noted that while Columbia has a number of successful community gardens, he believes the potential for urban agriculture in Columbia and other Missouri cities remains largely untapped.

Barbara Buffaloe, the city of Columbia’s sustainability manager, agrees. As she said to The Missourian, “Urban agriculture is a hot topic right now, and Missouri is an ag-friendly state.”

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