New Research Identifies the Needs and Tools To Help Urban Farmers Succeed (UF IFAS)

New Research Identifies the Needs and Tools To Help Urban Farmers Succeed

The needs of commercial urban agriculture (CUA) operations in Florida have been relatively unknown, which led UF/IFAS researchers to dig deeper. A newly published study explains the most common challenges these farmers face and opportunities that could help them thrive.

An urban commercial farmer can be defined as a person in an urban area who is typically running a for-profit business on a smaller scale than traditional commercial farms and who sells directly to consumers, instead of through other channels like grocery stores.

Data reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture focus on more traditional, rural farms, which leaves a blind spot for urban and other non-traditional farms. Previous research has focused on urban agriculture producers in regions much different than Florida, so researchers wanted to find updated information on Florida’s commercial urban agriculture.

“Agriculture is one of the top three industries in Florida, a state that is rapidly urbanizing,” said Catherine Campbell, UF/IFAS assistant professor who specializes in food systems and leads the research project. “This increase in urbanization has led to a steadily increasing interest in developing commercial urban agriculture as an important piece of the Florida agriculture puzzle.”

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