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Zachary Grant
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
University of Illinois Extension
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855

Sarah Batka
Program Coordinator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805

Master Urban Farmer Training Program

Master Urban Farmer Training Program

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The application period for the Spring/Summer 2018 MUFTP is now closed. We will inform waitlisted applicants and the general public about openings or the next session as soon as we can. Thanks for your interest!

Mission Statement:

The Master Urban Farmer Training Program (MUFTP) is designed to provide new urban farmers the introductory knowledge and skills to start an urban farm. At the end of the program it is expected that participants will be able to write a viable business plan and have the information necessary to move forward with their urban farming goals.

Learning Objectives:

•Develop the basic knowledge of the applied science behind urban farming systems.

•Awareness of practices and procedures that participants could utilize in their own operations

•Understand the financial and marketing tools needed to manage a profitable farm. This includes developing the beginnings of a business plan.

Who Should Take This Program?

•Entrepreneurs who want to start an intensive urban produce farm operation.

•Community members in underserved/food insecure communities who want to develop their food production skill set in order to increase food security and/or establish a community food system project in their neighborhood.

•Master Gardeners interested in intensifying their food production skill set.

•Educators who want to bring food production knowledge back to their organization.

•New growers interested in more intensive training programs, but not sure if they want to commit the time or the money.

•Anyone who is interested in Urban Farming!

Potential Topic Areas May Include:

Introduction to Master Urban Farmer Program and Urban Agriculture in Cook County

Site Selection Issues

Intro to Soils, Testing, Analysis, and Corrections


Vegetable Production Systems, Planning, and Scheduling

Transplant Production

Season Extension

Insects, Diseases, Weed Management

Integrated Pest Management

Tools, Equipment, and Irrigation

How to Choose a Farm Enterprise

Business Planning, Financial Statements, and Marketing for your Urban Agriculture Project

Food Safety , GAP’s, and Post-Harvest Handling

Keeping it Legal

Fruit Production

Grant Programs and other farm programs/resources

Link to application can be found over on the right side of this page.

Please sign up for our newsletter "The Urban Ag Connect" to stay updated about the latest urban agriculture programming and updates by filling out our Mail Chimp form: 

Here is the link to our Local Foods and Small Farm webpage, which will be your go to resource for all things urban farming, plus resources for the MUFTP specifically.