Our Story: Cultivating Independence and Cooperation

Seven years ago, Kate and Andrew, the current co-directors of the Youth Agricultural Cooperative, embarked on a journey that would become a testament to the remarkable independence and cooperative spirit of the youth in our community. Kate and Andrew served on the board for a school garden, providing material support and a blend of volunteer and paid hours. It was an enriching experience that shaped their understanding of the power of youth through their involvement in agriculture and community engagement.


As youth moved on from middle school into high school, the youth who moved on from the garden began expressing a desire to return. The youth wanted to stay connected and continue to work in the agricultural space that they helped to build and maintain. Due to the overwhelming response from the youth in our community, Kate and Andrew set out to create a program. They started without a formal name or a permanent location, just a mission to provide a space where youth could develop essential life skills while discovering and connecting with their community and the land.


The program came together quickly, our partner Project Feed the Hood, generously contributed a plot of land, this provided us not only with a stable home base for our operations but also expanded our reach beyond a single school. The youth in the program helped come up with the name we still use today Youth Agricultural Cooperative. The new program allowed us to unite youth from multiple educational institutions and create a program that makes every decision with the youth first.


Today, the Youth Agricultural Cooperative stands as a testament to the incredible independence and cooperative spirit of our young participants. We celebrate their ability to make choices, accept responsibilities, and lead their own initiatives, all while working together as their own tightly knit community.