The Buckeye Institution-Supported Agriculture (ISA) Project was funded by a $750,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to Project Director Casey Hoy, in his role as Kellogg Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management. The grant was in recognition of AMP’s role in the grassroots formation of the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) at The Ohio State University, and the commitment that the University made in its sustainability goals. The original goals of Buckeye ISA were:
To leverage Ohio State’s goal to increase production and purchase of locally and sustainably sourced food to 40% by 2025 in order to promote more urban farming in economically disadvantaged local communities by providing access to tools, seeds and expertise.
To provide training and workshops to Buckeye ISA households through the Ohio State Franklin County Extension program.
To partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to use biometric screenings of children and adults from participating households to compare their health before and after participation in the growing and home use of produce through the project.
To streamline the process of aggregating and distributing produce from small producers like households to large institutions like Ohio State.
Initiated in 2017, Buckeye ISA sought to create a network of at least 100 low-income households with young children, particularly in communities of color, that grow produce for their own use but also with the option of producing enough to sell to Ohio State, or other outlets. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's mission is "to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life." When the W.K. Kellogg grant for the Buckeye ISA project was awarded, one of the requirements was that each household involved must have children between 2 and 8 years old.
Buckeye ISA has been managed by InFACT Program Manager, Angela Blatt, Program Assistant, Jade Lantz, Hoy and a robust network of 7 community liaisons, 3 corporate and 23 non-profit partners to support 126 experienced mostly urban gardening and farming households with multiple produce selling opportunities at their disposal. The community liaisons recruited participant households, worked with them on business plans for their home production enterprises, tended to the participants’ day-to-day needs in learning to produce, and relayed their requests for support and training to the Ohio State team.
Our team of community liaisons, all of whom had been and continue to be engaged with supporting this kind of opportunity in their neighborhoods, include:
Jesse Hickman, Growing Matters Program Manager at Local Matters
Tom Redfern, Sustainable Agriculture Director at Rural Action
Chloe Glenn, Buckeye ISA Coordinator at Franklinton Farms
Bob Leighty, experienced entrepreneurship consultant and former Executive Director of the Parsons Avenue Merchants Association
Buckeye ISA also was supported by an education team from OSU Extension, Franklin County and a health team from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. OSU extension worked directly with community liaisons to deliver training workshops on various producing topics catered to each household’s unique needs and level of expertise in growing. A team of pediatric health researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital collected biometric and qualitative data from the parents and children in the program to survey the health effects that produce growing and consuming have on participant households.
The Buckeye ISA Program built a network of community members who are passionate about improving health and food security through home and community gardening and farming. Contact AMP, InFACT, Franklin County Extension, or any of the community liaisons listed above, to support the ongoing work of the network.
Support Buckeye ISA
If you would like to support BuckeyeISA and other projects like it, please consider supporting the Agroecosystems Management Program (AMP) by making a donation at the link below.
Press on Buckeye ISA
A Growing Influence, Edible Columbus
Buckeye ISA Project ArcGIS Story Map
BuckeyeISA YouTube Channel