WOW! Our 2012 Has Started With A Blast!!! – Part I

It’s been a while since my last post.  It’s because the last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  Here’s a recap of last week: Jan 8-14, 2012

Jan 8.  Georgia Organics Urban Agriculture Training Program Begins.  NEXT Steps was selected to participate in the Georgia Organics’ Urban Agriculture Training Program .  Georgia Organics is committed to cultivating urban farmers and gardeners to build healthy, vibrant local food communities.    Applicants should possess at least one of the two motivations in participating in this program:  1) to grow/raise food as a business, for supplemental income or as training for future employment; and 2) to increase access of fruits and vegetables in underserved communities.  The training program runs from February thru November with an orientation meeting in January.  Participants spend time working hands-on at a diversity of urban agriculture projects in Metro Atlanta and to gather once each month for in-depth workshops and fellowship.

Jan 10.  Points of Light Civic Accelerator Program.  NEXT Steps was interviewed by, none other than, Jay Cranman, VP with Civic Incubator at Points of Light as a potential candidate for their brand new Civic Accelorator Program.  Through the Civic Accelerator, Points of Light is launching one of the nation’s first startup accelerator programs focused on social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. The program will include peer support, mentoring, entrepreneur education, networking, funding and other initiatives.  Wish us luck!

Jan 12.  Guest Site Tours @ Atwood Community Gardens.  NEXT Steps had the distinct pleasure of sharing our vision for Atwood Community Gardens with Mr. Fred Huff, former  Director for the Georgia Tourism Foundation.  Our hope is to broaden our reach as we try to tap into the budding agri-tourism industry of West End Atlanta.

Jan 13.  Grady High School School Store Grand Opening.  NEXT Steps was invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of the Grady High School Business & Entrepreneur Academy’s Grand Opening event for their new school store.  NEXT Steps will be working with the students over the next few months to help integrate the student’s entrepreneurial interests with real world business opportunities that identify and address socio-economic conditions that impact their neighborhoods as well as the global community.

ALFI Urban Ag Work Group/ALFI Policy Work Group.  NEXT Steps was included with a small group of growers as we convened with the Turner Environmental Law Clinic to discuss issues, opportunities, and develop draft recommendations for urban agriculture policy for the City of Atlanta.

Now THAT’s what I call a very successful week!

Thanks to everyone.


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