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USDA grants available for urban agriculture, innovative production

usdaNo matter how you slice it, farming is big business in Virginia and urban agriculture is now a bigger piece of the pie.

These enterprises not only fill a need for fresh, local produce but also create green spaces and help address growing food insecurity in the Commonwealth.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has worked closely with these producers for more than 10 years and now leads the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, which is offering new funding to support this growing sector of farming in two key areas:

  • Planning Projects ($1 million) that initiate or expand the efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban and suburban areas. Projects may target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.
  • Implementation Projects ($2 million) that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. Projects will improve local food access and foster collaboration with partner organizations. They may also support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, educational endeavors and urban farming policy implementation.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, local or tribal governments and school systems that serve grades kindergarten through 12.

USDA will accept applications on until midnight July 6, 2020.

More details about this funding opportunity will be shared in an instructional webinar to be held on June 3, 2020, from 2 to 4 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Topics will include an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. Click on the link above to register for the program.

Established through the 2018 Farm Bill, the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production includes representatives from the Farm Service Agency, Agricultural Marketing Service and many other agencies. Learn more at Urban agriculture entities may also be interested in FSA loan programs and AMS grants to improve domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers.

augusta free press
augusta free press