McDavis-Conway headshot

Emerson Fellow

Shana McDavis-Conway

10th Class, 2003-2004

Field Placement:  Hartford Food System (Hartford, CT)

As the Strategic Planner for Urban Agriculture in Hartford, Shana conducted a market analysis of the potential for urban agriculture in Hartford and assisted in the development of a pilot youth-oriented market garden project, GROW Hartford.  Her work included an assessment of current and historical land use, a resource and skills inventory, a report on regional examples of urban agriculture and an evaluation of existing policy barriers.  She conducted interviews with urban agriculture practitioners to generate ideas for feasible models of urban agriculture; researched city plans, zoning, and land-use to determine potential sites; and networked with city officials, local businesses, community leaders, and local organizations to find potential partners and funding sources.

Hunger Free Community Report:

Urban Agriculture in Hartford is a compilation of Shana’s research on the benefits, challenges, and potential of urban agriculture, including specific recommendations for the city of Hartford.  The multi-component presentation is adaptable to a variety of audiences including policymakers, community members, and organizations.

Policy Placement: Community Food Security Coalition and the National Family Farm Coalition (Washington, DC)

Shana researched policies that impact both urban and rural communities and developing a media and communications plan for CFSC.  She also facilitated NFFC’s Trade Task Force.

Pre-Fellowship Background/Education: 

Shana is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she majored in Anthropology and Women’s Studies and minored in Theater and History.  She also spent a semester researching domestic partner benefits at the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Shana then served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA in Sacramento, California and designed a county-wide outreach program for the Medi-Cal program.  Shana has been actively involved in the preservation and creation of community gardens in Sacramento where she most recently worked for the Sacramento Hunger Commission, where she coordinated a local outreach campaign for food assistance programs including Food Stamps and Summer Food Service, and advocated on many anti-hunger issues at the city and state level.