Cultivate Kansas City is a locally-grown nonprofit working to grow food, farms, and community in support of an equitable, sustainable and healthy local food system for all. 

Our Vision

A democratic, just and sustainable community with:

  • Equitable and viable farm and food businesses across the food system
  • Access to local food for everyone
  • Food integrated into civic life

An equitable and inclusive food system where:

  • Local food, and the producers who grow it, are valued
  • People are empowered and equipped to engage and to participate
  • Resources are shared among all

Our Values

At Cultivate KC, we believe:

  • Growing and sharing food is a way we care for each other and the world we live in.
  • Access to healthy, culturally-appropriate food is a human right.
  • It is our responsibility to dismantle systemic barriers that keep community members from accessing healthy, local food.
  • Current conventional agricultural practices are unstainable.
  • Climate change threatens agriculture in our region and around the world.
  • Agriculture will always impact the ecosystem, and it’s our responsibility to make that impact as positive as possible.
  • The land on which we live and work has been stewarded by countless indigenous peoples for at least 20,000 years, including the traditions of the Kickapoo, Kaw/Kansa, Osage, and Oceti Sakowin people.
  • We can and should draw upon the traditions of these indigenous peoples to improve the sustainability of our own agricultural stewardship.
  • We are part of a local community where every person can positively shape the food system. By learning with and from each other, we can create a better future for agriculture and our planet.

Our History

Cultivate KC began in 2005 as the 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, Cultivate KC has grown into a resource provider and advocate in support of the production of fresh, nutritious produce in urban areas throughout the KC metro.

Our focus was broadened in response to community needs and the rapidly changing food system. We’ve seen remarkable development in the ways people are interested in growing and accessing local food, and we’ve adapted our work to serve those changes.

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.

Cultivate KC 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.

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.

Statement of Diversity, Sustainability and Justice

Cultivate KC was founded by organic farmers. At its core, organic farming values diversity, interconnectedness, and life. These values underlie our work in building a sustainable, local food system for Kansas City. In the years to come, it is clear that we need to be vocal and powerful advocates for these values – recognizing that diversity give us strength, resiliency, and adaptability in all aspects of our collective lives.