The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced earlier the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects, and these grants are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.
“Urban agriculture can play an important role in food justice and equity,” said Mark VanHoose, Ohio Farm Service Agency Acting State Executive Director.
USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30, 2021.
“Such projects have the potential to educate, innovate, and unify communities to improve nutrition and food access and increase local food production in urban areas,” said John Wilson, Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting State Conservationist in Ohio.
Implementation projects that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. Projects will improve local food access and collaborate with partner organizations and may support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, educational endeavors and urban farming policy implementation.
Example of a previous implementation projects include Cleveland’s own Famicos Foundation. Famicos Foundation works to improve lives in greater Cleveland through neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and integrated social services. The project will reinvigorate the garden at the Michael R. White STEM School using emerging technologies to produce healthy, fresh food for area residents, provide a STEM education opportunity, offer jobs to local youth, and generate income at Famicos’ Gateway 105 Market.
Planning projects initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Projects may target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, urban agroforestry or food forests, and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.
This is the second year USDA offered this grant opportunity.
A pre-recorded webinar will provide an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. The webinar will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.
The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established through the 2018 Farm Bill, and, through these grant opportunities, it offers opportunities for engagements as well as cooperative agreements. It includes representatives from many USDA agencies, including the Farm Service Agency and the Agricultural Marketing Service, and is led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. More information is available at farmers.gov/urban.