On 6 May 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), via its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP), announced US$3 million in competitive grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects.
Grants in two categories, Planning Projects (US$2m) and Implementation Projects (US$1m), are up for grabs, with the USDA accepting applications until midnight on 6 July 2020 through Grants.gov.
“These grant opportunities underscore USDA’s commitment to all segments of agriculture, including swiftly expanding areas of urban agriculture,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey on announcing the grants funding.
“Such projects have the potential to address important issues such as food access and education and to support innovative ways to increase local food production in urban environments.”
Planning projects are those that ‘initiate or expand’ the efforts of farmers, gardeners, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs’ and may target areas including: food access; education; business and start-up costs for new farmers; and/or the development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.
Implementation projects are those that aim to ‘accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers’. OUAIP is looking for projects that help to improve local food access; encourage collaboration; and/or support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, educational endeavours and the implementation of urban farming policy.
Applicant information webinar
The USDA is hosting a webinar for prospective applicants on Friday 3 July 2020 between 2 and 3pm US Eastern Standard Time – which is 4-5am on Saturday 4 July 2020, AEST. Click here to register for the webinar. You can also listen to the recording after the fact on the OUAIP website.
Sources: USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production I U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)