Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman visited two urban agriculture sites, Metro-Atlanta Urban Farm and an urban backyard farm created by the youngest organic farmer of Georgia. This visit highlighted the importance of urban agriculture’s role with the environment and community and showcased successful impact and outreach at all levels.
“The contributions of community leaders in urban agriculture helps promote environmental stewardship, sustainability, food security, in addition to providing job training and life skills,” said Blackman. “What a great opportunity this is to have EPA, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Georgia Department of Agriculture and community leadership together to shine a light on the great work Georgians are leading in the urban agriculture space.”
Blackman kicked off the day touring the Organic Garden created by Kendall Rae Johnson, the youngest organic farmer in Georgia. Later, he toured Metro-Atlanta Urban Farm, accompanied by USDA-NRCS leadership Terry Cosby, Chief, James Tillman, Sr., Southeast Regional Conservationist, and Terrance Rudolph, GA State Conservationist. They were also joined by Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary Black.
“I am excited to convene this group of stakeholders who will be instrumental in helping to elevate the undeniable benefits of urban agriculture and community gardens to close the access gap to fresh and healthy foods, as well as ensure that policies and resources combine to provide ongoing environmental stewardship and sustainability,” said Bobby Wilson, Metro-Atlanta Urban Farm.