The Model

The Grow Dat Hive is the training and consulting arm of our organization. Using the metaphor of a beehive, The Hive is a place where we can multiply our impact by supporting other projects that foster opportunities for youth leadership development and greater food justice in their communities.

Since early on in our organizational development, people have been inspired by our work engaging youth in the meaningful work of growing food and have asked us to teach them how our model works. The Hive provides a fee-for-service model to respond to these requests. 


Content Areas

Training and consulting are offered in the following four areas:

Example Clients

Crew Leader Yasmin Davis teaching Tulane students in the Taylor Center's Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program.

Crew Leader Yasmin Davis teaching Tulane students in the Taylor Center's Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program.

Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, Tulane University

Hive trainers provided in-class lessons on diversity and inclusion, using VISIONS tools, paired with youth-led experiential education time for Tulane students at the farm.

“I feel like I have learned what interpersonal prejudices I have inadvertently held, and Grow Dat has helped me combat some of those behaviors.”

“Grow Dat Youth Farm has not only taught me about the issues facing the New Orleans community, but given me the tools to change those issues and better our city.”

Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta

Six staff came from Atlanta and spent three days in immersive learning on the farm, shadowing programming, and participating in training workshops. Monthly consulting calls are scheduled for a six-month period; then, Executive Director Johanna Gilligan will travel to Atlanta to observe programming and offer ideas for improvement.

The contract is on-going and will be evaluated upon completion in December of 2016. All participants in the on-site training at Grow Dat expressed how valuable it was to learn from an established model, how inspired they were by youth leadership on the ground and how much they wanted to bring the model back to their work at the Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s so much more than just farming with kids.”

Youth Leadership Development

  • Training in communication tools, accountability mechanisms, and team-building activities that foster high-quality youth programming. 
  • Brain development and trauma training that increases knowledge of adult staff working with youth and leads to stronger youth developmental outcomes.
  • Safety training that increases awareness of how to be prepared for emergencies and maintain organizational compliance.

Sustainable Agriculture

  • Training that shares basic agricultural knowledge related to how to start a small home or market garden.
  • Techniques for leading youth and volunteers in farm work that increase productivity of people new to agriculture, make positive use of farmer’s time, and help participants experience pride in their ability to do quality work.
  • Training in effective techniques for increasing food access and sovereignty through a mix of produce donation and subsidized sale paired with educational and community building activities.
  • Farm finances training that provides tangible supports for beginning non-profit farmers in selecting equipment, deciding how (and how much) to grow, and assessing labor costs

Creating Successful Multicultural Teams

  • Uses VISIONS model for diversity and inclusion
  • Psycho-social training model that increases self-awareness and effective communication in cross-cultural teams resulting in greater team work and efficiency in diverse teams, greater capacity to build and retain diverse teams and greater capacity to create equitable systems within an organization.
  • Communication concepts include recognizing “intent vs impact” and noticing “process and content,” or what, how and why we say something and how people respond.

Organizational Capacity Building

  • Management training that increases management skills of director and staff in existing or startup environments by offering tools that create high input/buy-in among staff.
  • Earned revenue training that offers participants methods for creating and executing earned revenue as part of funding strategy.
  • Fundraising training that focuses on crafting a plan and identifying funding sources.
  • Evaluation training that enhances capacity to run continuous improvement processes and refines ability to use quantitative and qualitative data to design and/or re-design initiatives.

Next Steps

If you are interested in learning more about our training and consulting model, please email Founder and Director Johanna Gilligan at