Urban Farming Initiative Announced in Brown County

LEDGEVIEW, Wisc (WBAY) Brown County leaders say it's time to address a growing interest in urban farming.

Over the last few years, the county's UW-Extension office has fielded a lot of calls and questions about urban farming.

"We decided that it was really becoming a need that we really needed to think about, how do we reallocate staff time and some resources to start to address some of these questions because there is certainly an interest in local foods," says Judy Knudsen, U-W Extension Area Director.

Announced today by County Executive Troy Streckenbach, the urban farming initiative will focus on networking to help people get started.

"Thinking about how do we bring new farmers, those who've been doing it for awhile, and those who've been doing it for a long time together to share information, to support each other and to be a vehicle for delivering education," says Knudsen.

"I want to see young people get into farming, I mean it really is becoming kind of a cool thing for people nowadays, a lot of people are interested in it and they want to learn about it," adds Darren Vollmar, owner of Ledgeview Gardens.

For the past 16 years, Vollmar has sold his produce locally to grocery stores and at farmer's markets.

He feels county resources, paired with a network of urban farmers, can yield a bumper crop of results.

"If they can make a call, somebody is there, somebody is able to come out and help them, walk them through some things, that's going to be a really big help, having the opportunity to have a community to fall back on or having somebody you can reach out to and talk to and even if it's just complaining about the weather, doesn't matter, it's nice to have those other people that know what you're talking about," says Vollmar.

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