Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville
Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville
Growing and sharing healthy food and cultivating healthy communities since 2007
 

Who we Are

Neighbors join together for the pumpkin harvest and Swiss chard recipe sampling at 6th Street – October 2007.

Neighbors join together for the pumpkin harvest and Swiss chard recipe sampling at 6th Street – October 2007.

HISTORY

Founded in 2012, the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville (UACC) is the continuation of an urban agriculture project called QCC Farms, started by the Quality Community Council (QCC). The idea for QCC Farms began with a group of residents at Friendship Court and 6th Street who were looking for a way to bridge the social barriers between their communities. The project started with a series of community conversations which culminated in our breaking ground at the Friendship Court Garden in May of 2007 and the 6th Street garden in June. When QCC disbanded in 2011, committed local residents and volunteers formed UACC to continue the valuable work of bringing community members together through urban agriculture. UACC has a joint plan of work with Virginia Organizing, a 501(c)(3) organization that accepts grants and donations on our behalf.

Volunteers prepare to share vegetables with neighbors at Crescent Halls - June 2012

Volunteers prepare to share vegetables with neighbors at Crescent Halls - June 2012

LEADERSHIP

UACC is led by an elected Board of Directors and is guided by an Advisory Council made up of long time volunteers and participants. The UACC Board of Directors’ bylaws stipulate that “the majority of board members will consist of representatives from the neighborhoods where the gardens are located.” Empowering community members to lead the organization ensures that our work coincides with the interests and values of the communities we serve.

 

Jennifer bringing in the spring harvest at the West Street garden - May 2015

Jennifer bringing in the spring harvest at the West Street garden - May 2015

STAFF

Jennifer Minor (Assistant Farm Manager)

Jennifer Minor joined the UACC team in 2015 as a Farm Apprentice. She helps run all aspects of the Food Production & Distribution program, from starting seeds to harvesting for market day. A resident of Friendship Court, Jennifer keeps a watchful eye on the gardens in her backyard and encourages her neighbors to get involved.

 

Todd Niemeier (Operations Director)

In 2007, Todd worked with the Quality Community Council (QCC), and residents of the Friendship Court and 6th Street communities, to launch the QCC Farms project. When QCC disbanded in 2011, he partnered with community members and volunteers to lead the project through its transformation into UACC. He earned a B.S. in Agricultural Science from Truman State University, served as an Agricultural Extension Volunteer in Peace Corps Bolivia, and has worked on various small and large-scale vegetable farms. Todd is committed to the idea that collective urban agriculture can serve as a vehicle for bringing people together across racial, economic, and social barriers. He is passionate about involving young people in agriculture and is inspired by the power of collaborating with neighbors to nurture a healthy community.

 

UACC Board of Directors

Tamara Wright (Co-Chair)

Tamara Wright has lived in Charlottesville for most of her life. She is a resident of Friendship Court, where she lives with her three children. Tamara had wanted to get involved with the QCC Farms project for many years but struggled to find the time. Between raising her children as a single mother, working part-time, and pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice from Piedmont Virginia Community College, making it out to the gardens was difficult. When she heard that QCC Farms was transitioning to UACC, and was looking for community members to serve as leaders and advocates, she jumped at the opportunity. Tamara joined the UACC Advisory Council in 2011.  When the Council elected the founding members of the UACC Board of Directors, she had the courage to accept the nomination. In the fall of 2012 she was elected Chair of the UACC Board and has been one of the organization's most compelling and sincere advocates ever since. Tamara appreciates the way UACC engages the members of her community while at the same time providing a source of fresh healthy food. With three children to raise, and a desire to ensure they develop healthy eating habits, she is grateful for a source of fresh organic vegetables that does not put further strain on her finances.

 

Eric Anderson (Co-Chair)

A resident of Belmont, Eric is drawn to the work of UACC by the opportunity to garden side-by-side with a diverse array of his neighbors, to support greater access to healthy food in the community, and for the growing potential of the organization's work to help bridge divides. Over the last twenty years, his work in varied educational settings teaching and living in New York City, directing an after-school learning initiative for a progressive public housing authority in Connecticut, and heading a world language-immersion school in Charlottesville have all afforded him important new perspectives and life-affirming experiences with people from many different backgrounds, and he feels honored by and excited about the chance to support the important, interesting, progressive, and barrier-breaking work of the UACC.

 

Barbara Lee (Co-Secretary)

Barbara joined the Board in January 2017 after serving on the Advisory Council for two years. She has been an active volunteer and supporter of UACC's work since the days of QCC Farms. She is a committed labor rights advocate and travels throughout Virginia, urging policy-makers to support legislation that ensures workers are fairly compensated. As a resident of the 10th and Page neighborhood in Charlottesville, she helps spread the word about UACC on the west end of town.

 

Stacy Miller (Co-Secretary)

Stacy served as a forewoman at Even’ Star Organic Farm in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and later graduated with an M.S. in Agricultural and Environmental Education from West Virginia University.  In 2005 and 2006, she served as the Manager of the Morgantown Farmers Market, also coordinating outreach for West Virginia AgrAbility, a program providing resources for farmers and gardeners with disabilities and chronic conditions like arthritis.  For more than three years, she served as Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), a 501(c)(3) dedicated to strengthening farmers markets through education, networking, and advocacy.  Today, Stacy lives on 6th Street and is the founder of good phyte foods.

 

Rosa Key  (Treasurer)

Rosa Key is a lifelong resident of Central Virginia, and is well known in her community. Volunteering with QCC, and joining in on their progressively longer walks, Rosa cut a figure with her long stride and booming, friendly voice. Whether riding her bicycle or driving her surplus UVA truck, people all over town recognize and greet her warmly. Her strength and familiarity are welcome assets as she serves as Treasurer on the UACC Board, harvests vegetables, and helps distribute the produce at market day. Rosa lives in the 10th and Page neighborhood in a house painted lime green that is a perfect extension of her outgoing and fearless nature.

 

Toni Eubanks

Toni Eubanks was born and raised in Charlottesville. She is a resident of Friendship Court, where she lives with her son, Kaiden. Toni currently works for The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative as a Community Organizer and also serves as the Nursery Director for Sorjourners United Church of Christ. Toni’s passion for her community has led to invitations to serve as a board member for several organizations in town, and UACC is lucky to be one of those organizations. Being a part of UACC is important to her because she feels that urban agriculture is a vital yet often overlooked part of her community. As a distance runner, Toni knows the importance of eating healthy. She values that UACC not only shows people how to grow fruits and vegetables but also makes healthy food more accessible to her and her neighbors through the volunteer program and market days. Her charisma and her commitment to living well have inspired many of her neighbors to come to the UACC gardens and to get involved in other neighborhood activities, from picking up trash on the streets to sharing their artistic talents through the Push Play events that she spearheads.  Being on the UACC board gives her another opportunity to express her vision for her community and help to ensure that things get done. Since Toni started volunteering with UACC in 2013, she has made many new connections and friends, and she remains a strong advocate and spokesperson for UACC.

 

UACC Advisory Council

Gui Idebetouw

Michelle McSherrey

Janet Mitchell

Aurora Nichols

Mo Nichols

Lauren Penniman

Dave Redding

 

 

OUR SUPPORTERs

UACC is grateful to our many past and current supporters. We are especially grateful for the hundreds of individuals, businesses, churches, and foundations, corporations, who have contributed time, materials, and money to help us continue to grow and share healthy food and cultivate healthy communities. Many thanks!

You can make an online contribution to support our work by clicking the button below.