INUAg provides recognition and philanthropic support to urban farming innovators and leaders through an annual awards program.
Each year, we award monetary prizes to urban farmers building better food systems. Learn about previous award winners here.
Why urban ag? Urban farmers are reducing rates of obesity and other nutrition-related illnesses and providing economic stability through job creation and skills training. Urban farms increase food access by giving community members the power to be active food producers and advocates.
Our Annual Awards Program providing funds to urban farmers around the world is moving front and center at INUAg. We believe we best serve the vibrant international community of urban farmers by collecting their stories through awards program entries, sharing these stories through our newsletter and social media channels, and annually celebrating the best of these amazing projects with financial support. INUAg remains the place to be inspired by the urban agriculture movement and engage in its rapid expansion #LeadUrbanAg!
Hear from previous INUAg Award Winners!
“My name is Leah Holt, the grants manager for Hands On Nashville, 2015’s 3rd place winner in the Educating Youth category for INUAg’s 2015 Awards. The $250 prize allowed us to extend our growing season by three months with hoop houses. That extra time helped us increase the amount of food we produce for our communities, a valuable lesson for our young farmers-in-training!”
Check out our interview with 2016 INUAg Award winner Anjali Ajaikumar, Executive Director of The Bharath Charitable Cancer Hospital & Institute in Mysore, India:
Get to know our Board of Directors:
Erika Allen is Chicago and National Director for Growing Power and is headquartered in Chicago, IL. As the daughter of Will Allen, she has a small farm agricultural background and experience. She spent her formative years involved in all aspects of farm management from transplanting seedlings to managing farm stands and farmer’s markets. Ms. Allen received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MA in art therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Years of experience working in urban communities with art education and social service have brought her full circle back to her farming roots. Integrating the creative and therapeutic techniques with food security and community development have enabled Ms. Allen to establish nine urban agriculture and food system projects in Chicago, IL. Her specialties include project planning, community food systems design and direct marketing training. Erika has provided technical assistance and planning support for thousands of new and limited resource farmers and local food pioneers to strengthen farm businesses. She actively works to create healthy and diverse food options in inner-urban city and rural communities. Ms. Allen is a Post Carbon Institute Fellow. Erika served on the Illinois Food, Farms and Jobs Act Council appointed by Illinois Governor Quinn and most recently served on Chicago Mayor – Rahm Emmanuel’s transition team – Energy, Environment and Public Space Committee. Erika was appointed as a Board Commissioner for the Chicago Park District in September 2012. She was names “Green Entrepreneur of the year” from the Chicago Urban League in 2015. She is the proud mother of 5 year old son Ayokunle, a Yoruba name meaning “joy fills the home and world.”
Sheila Fowler is the Agriculture Department Chair at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. Prior to her current position, Sheila taught two agricultural courses at the ninth grade level, Basic Agricultural Science and Agricultural Careers and Leadership. Sheila also serves as an FFA advisor to guide students as they obtain leadership experiences in agriculture. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Crop Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sheila grew up on a small grain farm in southern Illinois. She is an agricultural literacy committee member for the Cook County Farm Bureau, a graduate of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Program, and serves as a section chairman for the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers.
Josh Kirschenbaum‘s passion for Urban Agriculture came to fruition when he was an AmeriCorps volunteer where he worked at a non-profit youth organization in Eugene, OR converting a 2-acre, abandoned field into a viable youth/community garden space. He then worked at Territorial Seed Company, a mail-order garden catalog based out of Cottage Grove, OR, for 13 years as the Product Development Director. In January, 2013, Josh began working at PanAmerican Seed Company/Ball Horticultural in West Chicago, IL as the Business/Product Manager of their relatively new vegetable program. He has has lots of interests but his true passion lies in growing and eating vegetables.
Marina Post is passionate about helping people see through the mental obstacles to forging relationships with their environment–animal or vegetable. As an urban dweller, she has had an edible garden for more than 25 years. She currently works at Christy Webber Farm & Garden where she assists urban dwellers in reconnecting to the urban landscape and to their food through introduction and support of chicken and bee keeping and growing a garden in the city. She loves helping people see they CAN garden, or have chickens, or keep bees! She’s a founding member of INUAg. Currently she keeps both chickens and bees, and grows some veggies in her back yard. Marina is also a self taught artist working with fiber (wool, alpaca, silk) making works of felt in her studio.
Roger Post is Chief Financial Officer at Christy Webber & Company, a premier landscaping company on Chicago’s west side that employs 500 people and had a revenue of $45 million in 2015. He can be found in his office heading up the financial world of landscaping or removing snow along The 606. He is an alumn of Harvard College and has a Master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He has held positions in variety of public and private sector finance firms; in the eighties he was a minority staff member of the U.S house of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. Previously he was the Director of International Consulting for Shorebank Advisory Services. He hails from the East Coast and an avid Bruins fan. He spends his free time running, cooking for his wife and three sons, tending to his urban chickens and working on his farm in Wisconsin. In addition to INUAg, Roger serves on numerous boards and committees across Chicago.
Grace Kuklinski Rappe’s interest in urban agriculture arose out of her work with sustainable and green building projects while at HoerrSchaudt Landscape Architects and her service on Mayor Daley’s Landscape Taskforce. In her previous role as Vice President of Construction for Christy Webber Landscapes and Capital Architect for Chicago Public Schools, she supported a number of urban agriculture initiatives including establishment of Kitchen Community Gardens and Space to Grow projects at neighborhood schools. In her current position as Senior Associate Architect at Stantec Architecture, she continues to find ways to support urban agriculture around the world. Grace is a wife and mother of two boys who loves tending her container garden on the deck behind her East Village home.
Christy Webber is President and CEO of Christy Webber & Company, a premier landscaping company on Chicago’s west side that employs 500 people and had a revenue of $45 million in 2015. She can be found repairing things in her Shop, operating a skid steer at a job site or helping a community garden with their clean up days. She is an alumna of University of Denver and she taught physical education for one year at Regina Dominican Girls School. In the late eighties she started her landscape company with a pickup truck and lawnmower. Now she owns a fleet of trucks, lawnmowers, tractors and numerous heavy machinery. Christy hails from Montrose, Michigan and is an avid Red Wings fan. She spends her free time looking for treasures at local shops, drinking copious amounts of coffee and spending time with her two sons. In addition to INUAg, Christy serves on numerous boards and committees across Chicago and the country.
Michelle Woods In her 20 year career with the City of Chicago, she has had the opportunity to work on the design and construction of many infrastructure projects, including great public spaces. She strongly believes that it’s very important to share information and lessons learned from our experiences in order to improve and be more efficient in the future. She sees INUAg as a resource for sharing information with the global community regarding one of our most vital and essential needs- food!
Donate today to support urban farmers around the world!
For donations made in the US, INUAg is a 501(c)(3) public charity and your contribution is deductible as allowable by law for federal income tax purposes.