A return to the field: youth development through agricultural projects

Putnam, Reanna, author
Carolan, Michael, advisor
O'Connor Shelley, Tara, advisor
Coke, Pam, committee member
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This case study seeks to document and describe agriculture based youth development programs by examining the AgriCorps program of the Larimer County Conservation Corps (LCCC). This study draws upon community based action research methodology to provide detailed documentation of the AgriCorps program and to assist with future program development. The AgriCorps program is an introductory employment opportunity through which youth, age 14-16, gain work experience, exposure to environmental and social issues in the food system, and complete meaningful conservation work on urban farms and gardens in Larimer County, Colorado. This program provides youth with experience adhering to workplace expectations, opportunities for soft skill development, and resume writing. In addition to personal and professional development, the AgriCorps also gives youth the opportunity to learn more about the social and environmental context of urban agriculture through structured education, informal field talks, and reflection activities. Lastly, the work completed by the AgriCorps crews contributes to meaningful conservation work by providing labor to urban and sustainable agriculture projects in Northern Colorado. The AgriCorps is a unique hybrid several different youth development program types: youth conservation corps; service learning; and garden based education. As such, the AgriCorps program can serve as a model for organizations interested in developing a youth development program that work in partnership with urban agriculture projects. This research also contributes to the limited literature on youth conservation corps and agriculture based youth development programs by highlighting a successful case of youth development through agricultural projects.
2016 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
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