January 10, 2018

Request for Urban Ag Workshop Proposals at the Good Food EXPO

gffc_mccarthy_img_1093Calling all urban growers, composters, keepers of livestock, and chefs! Share your urban agriculture knowledge and passion by leading a 30 minute workshop at the Organic Valley Good Food Commons at this year’s Good Food EXPO March 24th!

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is delighted to take the lead in organizing this year’s workshops, which aim to encourage Festival-goers to cultivate their curiosity by attending multiple informal 30 minute micro-workshops throughout the day. Workshops are organized thematically by learning tracks, each focusing on important topics within the Good Food movement. Submit your proposal here for these Good Food learning tracks:

  • GROW YOUR OWN: includes urban growing, container gardening, season extension, harvesting & handling, and other DIY gardening skills.
  • COMPOST IT: includes soil topics, vermiculture, compost teas, troubleshooting, best practices, or anything else related to composting practices.
  • RAISE YOUR OWN: includes livestock, raising urban animals, bees, chickens, goats, or anything else of interest to backyard livestock enthusiasts.
  • MAKE YOUR OWN: includes kitchen skills, keeping cultures (kombucha and sourdough), culinary curiosities, special diets, preserving, fermenting and other creative cooking topics.

In addition to the great exposure of presenting at this fun event, if your proposal is selected you will be listed in the Show Directory as a Good Food Commons presenter (name, affiliation and workshop title), and have the opportunity to sell your own book (or similar product) onsite.

Good Food Expo LogoDeadline to apply to share your knowledge and expertise with your fellow Chicagoans is Feb. 2nd, 2018. Submit your proposal and learn more here, and contact AUA with questions at info@auachicago.org!

Organic Valley Good Food Commons Event Details:

Saturday, March 24, 2018
UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL
Length of Workshops: 30 minutes
Workshops Hours: 10:30am – 4:00pm


December 28, 2017

AUA’s 2017 Year and Impact Review

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is delighted to share our Year in Review with you! It’s been a milestone year for our coalition as we mark our first year of organizational independence. In 2017, our work focused on strengthening our organizational and financial infrastructure, developing new collaborations, and enhancing our value to the urban agriculture community.

Thanks to members and supporters like you, we were able to organize over 75 educational workshops, host or participate in 65 community events, and directly reach over 175 growers in underserved neighborhoods, to name a few highlights from a big year!

As we prepare for an even bigger 2018, we’re over half way to our year-end drive to raise $5,000 for essential AUA programs. Can you help us grow next year’s impact even further with a contribution of $75, $50, or $35? Even a recurring monthly $3 –the cost of a cup of coffee– makes a difference. What’s most impactful is the involvement at any level of our 2,000+ members. Thank you for being a vital part of this coalition, and for all that you do to support a flourishing, local, equitable food system!


Year in Review image

November 27, 2017

Your Donation to AUA Doubled at 7am tomorrow, #GivingTuesday – But Until The Fund Runs Out!

Giving Tuesday 14

Beginning at 7am tomorrow, November 28th, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are matching, dollar for dollar, your Giving Tuesday donations! This powerful opportunity to support Advocates for Urban Agriculture and our urban agriculture movement will go quickly – donations are matched (up to $50,000 per non-profit) until the $2 million global fund runs out.

At 7am tomorrow, help us maximize this chance to grow our local food system! Donations can be made quick and easy by clicking the blue ‘donate’ button on our Facebook page here.

#ILGive I will supportAs a grassroots organization that charges no membership dues, your support is essential to the resources, advocacy, and connections that AUA provides our urban agriculture community. Every dollar you contribute is a dollar towards growing urban agriculture into an integral part of Chicago’s food security, community economic development, environmental sustainability, and overall quality of life for all.

Set an alarm for 7am on #GivingTuesday and double your impact! Thank you for all that you do to support sustainable urban agriculture!

And don’t worry, if you’re not on Facebook you can still join the global day of giving by supporting AUA directly here!


#ILGIVEchoose to make a diff today 565

November 10, 2017

2018 Beginning Farmer of the Year Competition Announced: $1,000 Cash prize! Great Publicity!

Routes 2 Farm Alliance logo


The Beginning Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by Routes to Farm, a Farmer Alliance of which AUA is a proud member, seeks to celebrate and promote YOU the amazing folks who are entering sustainable farming! How does it work?

Simply submit a 3-minute video to info@auachicago.org by January 12th, 2018. We’ll post all videos on our website, and the video that wins the most votes wins AUA’s nomination! From there it’s on to the Good Food EXPO, where the winner takes home $1,000 and great publicity!

Award Details:

  1. Beginning Farmer of the Year receives a $1,000 award in a public ceremony and a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food EXPO (Friday) in Chicago!
  2. Finalists (one farmer from each farmer alliance in Routes to Farm) will receive honorable mention, a $100 award, and a free pass to Industry Day at the Good Food EXPO (Friday)!

Additional Benefits of Participation:

  1. Broaden your farm’s visibility through features on routes2farm.org, FamilyFarmed.org, GoodFoodFestivals.com AUAChicago.org and LearnGrowConnect.org as well as inclusion in materials at the Good Food EXPO & Conference which reached 7500+ individuals in 2017 and farmer alliance websites and social media outlets.
  2. Build credentials with your customer base.
  3. Benefits from using the video submission in your own marketing and social media.
  4. Your farm featured in alternative agriculture publications and local press in collaboration with staff support at Angelic Organics Learning Center and FamilyFarmed.
  5. Build connections for your farm through attendance at the Good Food EXPO & Conference.

Video Details:

Each video must be 3 minutes or less and answer these ten questions to be eligible:

  1. What is your name and what is your farm’s name?
  2. Where is your farm?
  3. How long has your farm been in operation?
  4. How much land do you farm and what is it like? Is it urban, peri-urban or rural?
  5. What does your farm produce/sell and to whom?
  6. Why do you farm?
  7. What farmer alliance in Routes to Farm (routes2farm.org) are you a member of and for how many years have you been a member?
  8. How has your farmer alliance helped you launch or grow your farm?
  9. What is the biggest obstacle you face or have overcome as a beginning farmer?
  10. What is new on your farm next season? How are you innovating or growing?

Criteria for Selection:

  1. Video is 3 minutes or less and all eligibility questions are addressed
  2. Video shares a compelling, creative, humorous, or inspiring story
  3. Video demonstrates how farmer has been a leader, innovator, or community-builder
  4. Video features footage of the farm and the farmer
  5. The farmer is a member of at least one farmer alliance in Routes to Farm (routes2farm.org)
  6. The farmer is in the first 10 years of farm business operation
  7. The awardee agrees to attend and participate in the award ceremony at the Good Food EXPO in Chicago
  8. The video raises the public profile of beginning farmers, mentor farmers and the farmer alliances that support them

View simple videos from past awardees:

See further details here: www.routes2farm.org/about/farmeraward/

Questions? Contact AUA at info@auachicago.org or 773-850-0428!