During May 2020, the WCMER, in conjunction with the National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) and several urban Farm Bureau county organizations, responded to a request for stakeholder input from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) about the Urban, Indoor and other Emerging Agricultural Production Research, Education and Extension Initiative. Our goal was to solicit, collect and organize responses from a broad group of stakeholders to the two questions posed by NIFA:
- Considering agricultural production through marketing; which phase has the greatest and most urgent research, education and extension (REE) needs in developing urban and indoor agriculture?
- Of the eight priorities, which priority has the greatest and most urgent REE need in developing urban and indoor agriculture that is not being adequately addressed in other Federal REE programs?
The WCMER led the collaborative in summarizing the data from the listening sessions to provide aggregated written input to NIFA. A separate paper summarizing data from WCMER states was sent to WEDA. Following this effort, WCMER initiated and successfully established a Western Develop Committee (WDC53) to further develop research and Extension opportunities in this area. The goal is to submit the project for establishment as an Extension and Research Activity (WERA) by the end of 2021.