USDA distributes $4.1 million for Urban Ag and Innovations

Grants and cooperative agreements strengthen all kinds of agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the selection of recipients for about $4.1 million in grants and cooperative agreements through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. These are the first-ever recipients of these grants and cooperative agreements.

“As the People’s Department, USDA supports and strengthens all types of agriculture, including the work being done by urban farmers and community gardeners,” Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey, says. “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.”

Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach says, “The 578 applicants showcase the breadth of creativity in urban agriculture projects from nonprofits, tribal and local governments, and schools across the United States. We are excited to be a part of helping the selected projects improve their communities and support local agriculture and businesses.”

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Competitive Grants

The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program supports a wide range of activities through two grant types, which are Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.

Activities include operating community gardens and nonprofit farms, increasing food production and access in economically distressed communities, providing job training and education, and developing business plans and zoning.

Priority was given to projects located in or targeting an Opportunity Zone, which is a census tract designation for low-income communities. USDA is awarding approximately $1.14 million for three Planning Projects and approximately $1.88 million for seven Implementation Projects.

Planning Project recipients:

  • Center for Land Based Learning, California
  • City of New Haven, Connecticut
  • Feast Down East, North Carolina

Implementation Project recipients:

  • Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light, Arkansas
  • Association of Africans Living in Vermont, Vermont
  • Common Ground Producers and Growers, Kansas
  • Famicos Foundation, Ohio
  • The Greenleaf Foundation, Georgia
  • NY Sun Works, New York
  • Parkside Business & Community in Partnership, New Jersey

Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Projects

Through Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects, USDA is 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.

Priority was given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts, and collaborate with multiple partners.

Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Project recipients:

  • Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska
  • City of Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • City of Prescott, Arizona
  • Boulder County, Colorado
  • City of New Haven, Connecticut
  • City of Gainesville, Florida
  • Lake County, Illinois
  • Douglas County, Kansas
  • City of Paterson, New Jersey
  • City of New York, New York
  • Henderson County, North Carolina
  • City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Prince William County, Virginia

More Information

The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established through the 2018 Farm Bill.

It is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture. Its mission is to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices, including community composting and food waste reduction.

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