Expanding the Reach of Urban Agriculture

Cabrera-Garcia now serves as director for Center for Urban Horticulture Engineering at UMKC's Missouri Institute for Defense and Energy.

Juan Carlos Cabrera-Garcia is the new horticulture state specialist for the University of Missouri Extension. Juan is also tasked with developing and directing a new Center for Urban Horticulture Engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Missouri Institute for Defense and Energy (MIDE). His dual appointment is a new collaborative arrangement between MU Extension and UMKC-MIDE.

Juan’s research and Extension program will focus on expanding Missouri’s commercial horticulture industry. Juan aims to raise the awareness of Extension programs with Hispanic communities connected to the state’s horticulture operations.

At UMKC, Juan will direct his efforts to urban agriculture as the director of the Missouri Center for Urban Horticulture Engineering (MCUHE). Once established, the Center intends to develop new technologies and practices tailored to urban farms and farmers. The center also intends to create an active engagement model for consumers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers serving urban horticulture.

Juan earned a doctoral degree in plant science with an emphasis in horticulture from the University of Connecticut in 2019. He received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture science and production from Zamorano University in Honduras in 2009.

Juan served as an MU Extension field specialist in horticulture in southeastern Missouri from 2019 until shifting to this new role. He has also held research and teaching positions at the University of Connecticut, Ohio State University and Zamorano University.

Juan’s interests include reading about cars, cooking, biking, hiking, and learning about historical events.

You can reach Juan at 573-882-0567 or jcabrera-garcia@missouri.edu.