Much of the United States is urbanizing, increasing the importance of developing Extension programs geared toward urban audiences. There has been an increasing interest in urban agriculture (UA) in recent years as an outgrowth of the “local food” movement. The COVID-19 pandemic increased awareness of the importance of food system resilience, in which urban agriculture can play a role. Developing programs specifically targeted to urban farming clientele can bolster Cooperative Extension’s role in supporting urban populations. An important first step to developing these programs is to understand Extension educators’ perceptions, beliefs, and knowledge about UA and the key barriers and opportunities to develop new programs that serve UA clientele. In this qualitative study, researchers conducted 17 semi-structured interviews of Extension educators who conduct UA programming. These educators see UA as a key opportunity for Extension to reach new audiences and increase agricultural awareness in urban areas. The most salient barrier faced to develop or deliver UA programming is a lack of time and resources—both human and financial. This study highlights key barriers and opportunities to develop new Extension programs to support UA and to increase Extension’s visibility in and impact on urban communities.



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