Cultivate Kansas City was founded in 2005 (originally Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture) with the goal of promoting urban agriculture – the growing of food in city neighborhoods to feed other people. In the years since then, Cultivate Kansas City has become a powerful educator and advocate in the support of production of fresh, nutritious produce in city neighborhoods across the metro area.
Our focus has broadened in response to community needs and the rapidly changing food system. We’ve seen a remarkable development in the ways that people are interested in growing and accessing local food – and we’ve expanded our work to meet those changes.
We have grown from two staff members with a $80,000 budget to our current staff of about eighteen full and part-time employees with a budget of $1.1 million. As our capacity has increased, our work has expanded.
Cultivate Kansas City was a partner in Get Growing Kansas City, a program launched in 2011, which put a multi-organizational team into neighborhoods to help promote and support urban farming and farm businesses and to work with communities and individuals to get food growing in their neighborhoods. We continue that work today with farmers – both as farm businesses and as programs of non-profit organizations.
In 2010 we began working with the Kansas City, MO Urban Planning Department, the city council and the mayor to pass codes that better support urban food production and access. We worked with the city to organize the first Kansas City, MO Food Summit, bringing together community leaders, city staff and elected officials to look at how the city is and should be involved in food production and access. We continue our work on policy issues, working as a member of the Food Policy Coalition of Greater Kansas City and independently. We've started new programs and helped launch new organizations. We've helped transform the conversation about urban agriculture in our city.