Annie’s Project, a nationally recognized educational program that addresses risk management for women farmers, provides training in the five areas of farm risk: marketing, production, financial, human, and legal. Some challenges are common to all farms, while some are unique to urban locations. Annie’s Project: Farming in New Jersey’s Cities and the Urban Fringe, nicknamed Urban Annie’s Project (UAP), expanded the basic scope of Annie’s Project curriculum, with urban-focused topics including short-term leases, contaminated soil, water availability, and access to capital and resources. UAP built on past successes, introducing urban agricultural initiatives with a series of six 3-hour evening classes.
Annie’s Project New Jersey recognized the growing demand for urban agriculture training and adapted its original programming to meet this need, subsequently creating the first urban-focused Annie’s Project. UAP had a significant impact on the participants’ self-rated knowledge/understanding of urban farming risks.
To determine program success, we administered a retrospective evaluation to attendees (N=23) on the last day of class. It measured the level of ‘understanding/knowledge’ of the five risks before and after programming using a Likert scale. Participants increased their understanding/knowledge in every single topic, confirming that the program had a positive impact.