May 25, 2017

This Spring, Chicago’s Urban Agriculture Community Needs You

Spring resized

Every day, AUA works towards a flourishing local food system, one where urban agriculture supports community economic development, food security, environmental sustainability, and overall quality of life for all.

We promote progressive urban agriculture policy through our Ward Ambassadors program; strengthen the urban agriculture community and its connections through our Raise the Barn Crop Mobs; and we support growers directly through free educational and networking resources. But we can only continue to grow urban agriculture in Chicago with your support. We still need to raise the majority of our $1,000 Spring Donation Drive – will you click here to make a $100, $50, or $30 tax-deductible contribution today towards a flourishing, local food system?

AUA is a grassroots coalition that charges no membership dues, and we make no ask to join our network or leverage our resources. We unite over 2,000 Chicagoland growers and local food advocates, connecting you with essential opportunities, resources, partners, news and events that benefit you and the urban agriculture community directly.

We do all this because we believe in our vision: a flourishing, local food system. But we can’t do it without you. Can you click here to donate $100, $50 or $30 for our Spring Drive to raise $1,000 for these indispensable program resources?

As the largest network in Chicago of community gardeners, school gardeners, urban farmers, urban ag businesses and individual advocates, we are your voice, your forum, and your advocate. We’re here for you, but we only exist thanks to you. Thank you for contributing what you can today, and for supporting the community you care so much about.

AUA Donate Button


DCF 1.0

May 24, 2017

AUA’s Spring Newsletter is Here!


AUA’s Spring 2017 Newsletter has arrived! Read on for:

May 22, 2017

AUA is Hiring! Seeking Executive Director.

AUA Chicago is seeking a new Executive Director

Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), a 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2002 and is a coalition of individuals, organizations and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the greater Chicago area, from home and community based growing to market gardens and small farms.

AUA envisions a flourishing food system that promotes sustainable food growing in the Chicago area as an integral part of community economic development, food security, environmental sustainability, and overall quality of life for the region, and in which practitioners, organizations, and residents can reap the benefits.

AUA‘s Board and staff work in concert with AUA’s 2,000 plus members, partner organizations and businesses and local government in multiple ways. These include education and information sharing about best agricultural practices, participation in the development of progressive city and county policies that support urban farming and farmland conservation, and support for state legislation pursuant to these goals and values.

Sustainable food growing in the greater Chicago area is deeply rooted, robust and growing. So too is AUA. As Chicago’s hub for urban agriculture, AUA is increasingly recognized by Chicago’s food-system funders and government agencies as an important collective voice and effective partner in forging sound local food policies and related regulations. And now, upon a foundation of fifteen years, AUA is preparing plans to expand its efforts with the goal of helping Chicago build an even more vigorous and sustainable food system.

AUA’s Executive Director is a key player in the pursuit of this goal.

After five years with AUA, the current Executive Director will be leaving to fill a wonderful new position in Michigan, just down the road from his home. The AUA Board, therefore, is seeking an individual with superior leadership skills and the knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, insight and commitment to fill this position and help lead both AUA and Chicago urban agriculture well into the future. Applicant’s education, experience and skills should be commensurate with the responsibilities and requirements of the position, as outlined in the attached position description.

Please send a cover letter and resume in .pdf form to Applications are due Friday, June 9, 2017.

Job Description for the Full Time Position of Executive Director of the Chicago Based Advocates for Urban Agriculture

Position Title: Executive Director

Executive Director Reports to: Advocates for Urban Agriculture Board of Directors

Executive Director Supervises: Outreach Coordinator

Position Purpose: The Executive Director is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of its mission. The ED is the primary communicator between AUA and its members, partner organizations, government agencies and funders; is the lead voice in representing AUA’s position to various constituencies; and is responsible, in collaboration with Board members and contracted assistance, for achieving the organization’s fundraising objectives and managing its overall financial affairs.

Executive Director’s Responsibilities

Organizational Performance

  • Works with the board and leadership team to develop and lead strategies for achieving mission, goals and financial sustainability.
  • Maintains and utilizes a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the fields of sustainable and urban agriculture, community development and social enterprise, and local, regional and state policies that are needed or are in development that will have impact in these areas.
  • Oversees strategic plan implementation, assesses and reviews program activities, and monitors need for change.
  • Oversees and manages AUA Board participation through monthly meetings, conference calls, and online communications.
  • Oversees and supports Board and member activities in AUA task forces; translates those activities into actionable plans.
  • With the Board, actively identifies potential Board candidates who can strengthen AUA’s diversity and capacity
  • Develops and executes ambitious, but achievable plans for resource development, e.g., cultivate positive relationships with institutional funders such as foundations, government agencies, corporations, and others.

Community Engagement and Leadership

  • Serves as an effective spokesperson. Represents the organization well to its constituencies, including AUA members, partner organizations, government agencies, elected officials, funders, and the general public.
  • Develops and effectively uses AUA’s website, social media tools and face-to- face opportunities for communication.
  • Oversees and manages the development and expansion of resources like AUA’s Urban Agriculture Resource Guide and mapping project.
  • Positions AUA as a leading voice in the development of sustainable food growing and related activities in urban, suburban and even rural settings where appropriate

Administration, Finance and HR

  • Supports the development of policies and organizational culture that enable satisfying roles for current staff and ability to attract and retain additional diverse staff in key positions as funding becomes available.
  • Assures adequate control and accounting of all funds, including maintaining sound financial practices.
  • Works with the Board to prepare budgets and reports, monitor progress, and initiate changes (to operations and/or to budgets) as appropriate.
  • Sees that official records and documents are retained; ensures compliance with federal state and local regulations (examples: Form 990, payroll withholding)

Executive Director’s Compensation

$50,000 annual gross salary for this full time position, and 20 personal days off per year

May 3, 2017

Join Us at AUA’s Cultural Heritage Spring Gathering, May 20th!

Spring Gathering JPG

Cultural heritage panel! Seed swap! Community slideshow of urban farms and gardens! Potluck! Come together with us to enjoy all this and more at AUA’s Cultural Heritage Spring Gathering!

Join us on Saturday, May 20th from 12pm-3pm at La Villita Community Church, 2300 S. Millard. We’ll start with a community potluck, followed by a chance to swap culturally significant seeds, and then explore Chicago’s urban agriculture community in photos from gardens and farms across the city. Then we’ll celebrate our cultural connections to agriculture, led by an amazing panel of urban agriculture leaders: Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa of Openlands, Maria Herrera of Enlace and the Little Village Gardeners Coalition, and Annamaria Leon of the North Lawndale Greening Committee and Christy Weber Landscapes. They’ll be discussing topics including:

  • Gardening and agriculture as a means to connect with culture, community and roots
  • Different cultural heritages, connections and history with farming and gardening
  • Building and strengthening community through urban gardens and farms, and connecting to broader communities
  • Food production and gardening as a tool for empowerment
  • How urban agriculture and its community can respond to recent hostility towards immigration and multiculturalism

Please join us for this unique afternoon! Bring a dish and seeds to swap! Send your urban garden and farm photos to to be included in the slideshow! And help us spread the word to your networks by sharing our event page. See you then!

Spring Gathering - Spanish