Tony Minnick checks some of the growing seedlings in the soil blocks (copy)

Tony Minnick checks some of the growing seedlings in the soil blocks at the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture’s urban farm March 12 in Columbia. Minnick has been the urban farm’s manager for about four seasons.

The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and Harry S. Truman Veterans’ Hospital are holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday to announce a new veteran urban farm program.

The project will lead to the formation of the Mark and Carol Stevenson Veterans Urban Farm as the CCUA moves its base of operations to Columbia’s Agriculture Park. The CCUA’s mission is to enhance the community’s health by connecting people to agriculture and the land.

“The farm will continue with a new target audience — our country’s veterans,” Bill Polansky, executive director of the CCUA, said in a news release. “It will provide them with a vibrant space to learn about food, improve health and build community.”

The ceremony will take place at the CCUA Urban Farm, currently located at 1209 Smith St., according to the news release. The program will give more background on the project as well as formally announce the name for the farm.

In spring 2020, the two organizations will turn the Urban Farm into a community space for veterans in mid-Missouri. Veterans will host programs focused on health, therapy and job skills to serve other veterans in the area, according to the release.

“Our mission is to honor our veterans by providing state-of-the-art care that improves their health and well being,” Patricia Hall, medical center director of the veterans hospital, said in the release. “Community partnerships such as this are vital to our success.”

Funding for the project will come from Veterans Affairs, MFA Oil Co. and Veterans United Foundation, according to the release. Additional funding is pending.

“We love the work that the CCUA does in our community,” Mark Stevenson, landowner of the CCUA’s Urban Farm, said in the press release. “Carol and I couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership with Truman VA. I feel that it really will enhance the lives of our veterans and improve their mental and physical health.”

  • Public Health and Safety reporter, fall 2019. Studying magazine journalism. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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