Nathan Cooper was back on the southwest Minnesota plains, where farming engaged four generations of his family, and didn’t think he’d ever return to the Arizona desert, where he graduated with a business degree from Grand Canyon University in 2019.
But after GCU President Brian Mueller hatched the idea for a community garden to provide food for the neighborhood and asked Colangelo College of Business Dean Dr. Randy Gibb if he knew any farmers, Cooper soon was asked to return.
By September, he was leading the expanded idea of Canyon Urban Farms. Its centerpiece is a small plot north of Agave Apartments on campus. The farms’ manager already has harvested 40 pounds of squash that GCU donated to Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest on Thursday.