The Rogers lab is actively engaged in outreach programs throughout the twin cities community. Funded projects include collaborations with the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Serendipity Grant Program:
- Dr. Rogers is engaged in a project with North High School in Minneapolis called 'Next Steps in Reshaping North Minneapolis Local Food System'. The project is a collaboration with the school, with the goals of linking STEM education with food systems knowledge, promoting healthy eating, and creating a pathway to the University for North High students. The collaboration has resulted in multiple lab modules for the school, an aquaponics production system and celebratory events to promote environmental consciousness & improved food attitudes, such as Earth Day & World Food Day.
- The Soul Food Monologues is a project that uses a holistic approach to create new knowledge about the causes and meanings of Minnesotans’ challenges in accessing food. Participants on the project will produce a series of performances of “Soul Food Monologues,” integrating the theme of food sovereignty, defined as the right of people to define their own food system. Each monologue will be designed in part by U of M students, with the involvement of community members of diverse ages, ethnicities, occupations, and religions. The research team will then study the effect of producing, watching and discussing the monologues on student learning, leading to publication of an article with the results. The project will also investigate the ways that historical narratives shape contemporary food politics, laying the groundwork for more expansive programming and the creation of an archive of Minnesotans’ “food stories".
- Dr. Rogers is also heading up a project titled "Assessing Environmental, Economic, Productivity, and Social Impacts of Agriculture in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro". This project creates a team of researchers, community organizers, Extension personnel, and urban agriculture practitioners who will identify sustainable environmental practices for twin city farms and gardens, with the goal to protect and conserve our natural resources in ways that are economically efficient and socially grounded.
Make sure to visit the Twin Cities Urban Ag website to see ways that urban farmers are meeting up to discuss best practices.