The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the selection of its first-ever recipients of about $4.1 million in grants and cooperative agreements.
The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program supports a wide range of activities through two grant types:
- Planning projects – which initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs; and,
- Implementation projects – which will accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers.
Some examples of winning projects include the City of New Haven, CT where the Food System Policy Division will develop the first New Haven Urban Agriculture Master Plan; the Famicos Foundation in greater Cleveland to catapult their existing gardening program; and The Camden Urban Agriculture Leadership Pipeline Project which aims to guide residents of the low-income, low food-access City of Camden on a pathway from resident, to gardener, to farmer, and eventually to community urban agriculture leader. A complete list of winning projects can be seen here.
The USDA’s Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects is also investing approximately $1.09 million in 13 pilot projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction.
“As the People’s Department, USDA supports and strengthens all types of agriculture, including the work being done by urban farmers and community gardeners,” Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “I look forward to seeing the innovations in urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices that result from the agreements, including in community composting and food waste reduction.”