Cultivate Chicago is a partnership between the City of Chicago and Together Chicago. Our mission is to better equip production farmers, resident growers, and community stakeholders with the fundamentals of business ownership and financing through technical assistance, coaching and/or mentoring, informational workshops, and data analysis. Our goal is to expand the knowledge, skill, and ability of all stakeholders, encouraging successful urban farm businesses and home gardens.

Launching urban agriculture and local food system endeavors can be complicated. There are many considerations including access to and land use policy, economic incentives and disincentives comprehension, and various intricate pieces to connect within the supply chain. Additionally, local resident growers may not have the time or resources to manage and propel farming activities and local food initiatives that have the potential to deliver real economic returns to their business and community.

Our 2020 Cultivate Chicago cohort worked to support local growers and facilitated a cohort with 7 local agriculture businesses to provide coaching and training to help them grow their produce and businesses. The program was a great success and partnership, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with local business owners as part of our economic development work.