The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made $3 million available for competitive grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. The grants include two categories:
- Planning Projects – $1 million for projects that initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Sample projects include food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, and the development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production; and,
- Implementation Projects – $2 million for projects that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers.
“These grant opportunities underscore USDA’s commitment to all segments of agriculture, including swiftly expanding areas of urban agriculture,” under secretary for farm production and conservation Bill Northey said. “Such projects have the potential to address important issues such as food access and education and to support innovative ways to increase local food production in urban environments.”
The grants are from the new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production which was established through the 2018 Farm Bill. A webinar will be held on June 3, 2020, from 2 to 4 p.m. ET to provide an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for submitting an application. Information on how to register for and participate in the webinar, or listen to the recording, will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.
“We are proud to be able to offer support through this cross-agency effort,” said under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs Greg Ibach. “In creating this grant opportunity, USDA will build upon its years of experience providing technical support, grant funding and research to help farmers and local and urban food businesses grow.”