WASHINGTON, July 18, 2023 – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $7.4 million in 25 selected grants that support urban agriculture and innovative production. Select grant recipients, including community gardens and nonprofit farms, will increase food production and access in economically challenged communities, provide job training and education, and enable partners to develop business plans and zoning proposals. These grants are based on $40 million in projects funded since 2020 and are part of USDA’s broad support for urban agriculture through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). Funding limits only allowed USDA to select the top 10% of the reviewed applications. This year, USDA received more than 300 applications, which is double the number of applications from last year.
“This competitive grant program has already had a huge impact in communities across the country, and we look forward to partnering with local growers and organizations to support urban landscape agriculture while helping local communities provide food. fresh and healthy,” said Robert Bonnie. , USDA Assistant Secretary for Agricultural Production and Conservation. “The growing popularity of this grant program shows the importance of our broad support for urban agriculture, local and regional food systems, and underserved communities.”
Aid for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) competitive grant program supports a wide range of activities through two types of grants, planning projects and implementation projects. Today’s announcement includes 25 selected planning and implementation projects.
Planning projects initiate or expand the efforts of urban and suburban farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders to focus on areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, urban forestry, and policies. related to zoning. and other urban productive needs. Planning projects are expected to provide an initial investment in new and start-up projects with surveys, assessments, design and planning, business plan creation, feasibility studies, municipal policies, and zoning best practices.
Examples of planning projects include:
- Austin Youth and Community Farm Inc. in Texas, which will increase food equity in Travis County by using regenerative agriculture and natural resource conservation practices to double food production on two urban farms.
- Living Well Kent in Washington, which will transform the food production system to improve food security and promote equity between BIPOC producers and consumers, historically marginalized immigrants and refugees.
Implementation projects accelerate urban, indoor, and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers and improve access to local food. They can support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, education and the implementation of urban agriculture policies. Implementation projects are expected to expand work on existing urban agriculture projects with on-the-job training, mentoring, business development assistance, agricultural career school training, and by expanding existing community garden and non-profit farm operations profit.
Examples of implementation projects include:
- Athens Land Trust of Georgia, which will provide locally grown food to the Athens community and offer workshops, paid youth employment, and business opportunities for beginning and historically underserved farmers.
- Osage Nation in Oklahoma, which will install supplemental lighting for facilities and vegetable production systems along with the installation of a solar field and serve as a guide for Native Nations looking to implement similar systems.
In total, 25 projects in 16 states and territories were selected. For a full list of selected grant recipients and project summaries, visit Aid for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production | USDA.
OUAIP, established through the 2018 Farm Bill, works in partnership with numerous USDA Agencies Supporting Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. OUAIP coordinates through USDA to help agencies identify, prioritize, and resolve internal barriers to service with urban, small-scale, and innovative clients. UAIP grants are part of a broader USDA investment in urban agriculture.
Other efforts include:
In addition, OUAIP helps USDA employees at all levels understand that USDA supports agriculture regardless of the size of operations, where they are located, or how products are produced.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with an increased focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutrients in every community, building new markets and income streams for farmers and growers who use climate-smart food and forestry practices, make historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capabilities across America, and commit to equity across the globe. Department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of the United States. For more information, visit www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.