Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Longview School as a Growing Power ROTC: Training Young Farmers and Food Activists

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Longview School are proud to partner to become the newest Regional Outreach Training Center (ROTC) for Growing Power. Growing Power is an internationally recognized urban agriculture organization started by MacArthur Genius Award winner Will Allen. We are the only ROTC in the country with a focus on training young people. IFFS’ USDA-sponsored Young Farmer Training Program and Urban Agriculture program carry this focus year-round as we employ and train high school-aged youth and young adults to become North Carolina’s next generation of farmers and food activists. Longview  School’s Ag Careers class and Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter, headed up by Mr. Patrick Faulkner, expose at-risk youths to career opportunities in agriculture and related disciplines. Will Allen has said that “what used to be a good food movement is now a revolution” – Together with Growing Power we are bringing a healthier, more socially just, ecologically sound, and prosperous food future to North Carolina and urban areas throughout the Southeast.

IFFS staff attend Growing Power Commercial Urban Agriculture Training

Thanks to funding from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Sun Butler, our Farm Educator and Neal Wisenbaker, our Farm Manager, recently graduated from Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture (CUA) Training Program. The program is comprised of a series of five weekend seminars running January through May at Growing Power’s training facilities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The seminars cover topics around planning (such as city regulations, zoning and licensing),  marketing, business plan development, and finding and securing land space. The program also provides hands-on learning experiences in composting, worm farming, aquaponics,  fish farming, soil testing, horticulture, farming  without chemicals, aquaculture, bee-keeping, small farm equipment and tools, food processing, water usage, and  renewable energy, as well as trainings on labor issues and hunger as a social justice issue.


Plant the Pavement! Workshops & Training

As an ROTC, IFFS and Longview will be hosting annual “Plant the Pavement!” workshops starting in fall 2012. These intensive, hands-on training opportunities will offer diverse groups the opportunity to learn, plan, develop, operate, and sustain community food projects. Look for our first round of workshops coming up in November!

  • Plant the Pavement! for Triangle Youth: November 8 and 9 at Longview High School in Raleigh. Regional youth interested in agriculture, sustainability, and social justice will have the opportunity to attend a full-day urban ag workshop led by experts from Growing Power, IFFS, and Wake County Public Schools. Topics will include hoop house season extension, vermicomposting, aquaponics, and the basics of sustainable urban food production. Will Allen himself will also be there to discuss how these types of enterprises can empower youth to help their families and communities eat healthier while generating income and jobs. The youth workshop will be offered on both November 8 and 9, and participants can choose which day to attend.
  • Plant the Pavement! Community Workshop: November 10 and 11 at the IFFS Wake County Teaching Farm on Tryon Rd. This two-day workshop with Will Allen is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the sustainable production of healthy food, whether on a home, business, or community scale. Modeled after Growing Power’s “From the Ground Up” workshops, community members who attend this weekend workshop can expect to dive head-first into the nuts and bolts of intensive, sustainable food production for home, community, or market. Skills learned will be applicable in both urban and rural settings, and topics will include composting, hoop house production, vermiculture, aquaponics, mushrooms, micro-greens, project planning, and more!

To learn more about Growing Power’s Commercial Urban Agriculture series, visit their website at