WASHINGTON, July 20, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is encouraging urban growers and others to attend the second public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production on August 5. The Committee will discuss new urban conservation practices, focus areas and priorities for the Commission and the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new urban county committees, among other topics.
“This Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production provides the USDA with valuable information, feedback, and advice on how the USDA can better serve growers in urban areas,” said Brian Guse. , director of the USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). “In collaboration with the Committee, the USDA will develop strategies to meet the needs of urban agricultural producers and promote innovative production, strengthen local food systems, and increase equity and access to healthy, local foods.”
The Committee is part of USDA’s efforts to support urban agriculture, by creating a feedback network. Members include agricultural producers and representatives from higher education or extension programs, non-profit organizations, business and economic development, supply chains and finance. The inaugural meeting of the Committee took place in March 2022.
About the meeting
- Areas of intervention and priorities of the Committee
- USDA Equity Commission Priorities Update
- Briefing on new urban conservation practices
- Update on FSA Urban County Committees
The meeting will take place on August 5, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To attend, register by August 4, 2022. The public can register to attend the Committee meeting on zoomgov. Written comments or questions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., July 29, Eastern Time, through the Federal Electronic Rulemaking Portal. For special accommodations, please contact Tammy Willis at (315) 456-9024 or [email protected]
The USDA will post the final agenda 24-48 hours prior to the meeting on farmers.gov/urban. For more information on the Committee or the next meeting, please visit June 30 Federal Register the notice and the Committee’s webpage.
USDA and urban agriculture
The Committee is part of a larger USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:
- Reopening of the People’s Garden Initiative. People’s gardens across the country grow fresh, healthy food and support resilient local food systems; teach people how to garden using sustainable practices; and nurturing habitat for pollinators and wildlife, and green space for neighbours.
- Provide grants that target the areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, and policy development related to zoning and other urban production needs . The USDA has made $14.2 million available this year and has invested $18.7 million in projects that cannot be funded in 2021.
- Offer cooperative agreements that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal composting and food waste reduction plans. The USDA has made $10.2 million available this year.
- Provide technical and financial assistance through conservation programs offered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
- Invest $260,000 in risk management and crop insurance training for historically underserved and urban producers through partnerships between the USDA Risk Management Agency and state universities.
- Announcement of 17 FSA Urban County Committees.
OUAIP was created by the Farm Bill of 2018. It is run by the NRCS and works in partnership with many USDA agencies that support urban agriculture. Its mission is to encourage and promote urban, indoor and emerging agricultural practices, including community composting and food waste reduction.
Additional resources that may be of interest to urban agriculture entities include grants from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as well as loans from the FSA.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the Rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.
The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.