Dickey, K. J., Boren Alpizar, A. E., Irlbeck, E., & Burris, S. (2020). One Seed at a Time: Prosocial Youth Development in an Urban Agriculture Program. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(1), 110-127. doi: 10.5032/jae.2020.01110
The Growing Recruits for Urban Business (GRUB) is an urban agricultural education program in Lubbock, Texas with a focus on youth development. The mission of the program is to provide at-risk youth with the opportunity to learn technical agricultural skills and leadership skills through the management of a 5.5-acre farm. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how the program fosters prosocial decision-making in at-risk youth participants. Using grounded theory, a model was created to illustrate the transition youth experience when developing prosocial behaviors through participation in the program. The model that emerged identifies four main antisocial constructs youth exhibited when they began the program and four prosocial constructs they developed during their participation in the program. The results yielded information regarding participants’ individual prosocial behavioral development as well as examples of the long-term benefits experienced at the individual and societal levels as a result of prosocial decision-making. Implications for the role of agricultural education and agricultural educators in transforming marginalized communities are discussed.