The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced 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.

USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30.

“Urban agriculture can play an important role in food justice and equity,” said Debbie Wakefield, Farm Service Agency executive director in Kentucky.

“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 Greg Stone, Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist in Kentucky.

Planning ProjectsPlanning 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.

Implementation Projects

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.

Webinar

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.

More Information

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.

— USDA

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

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