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Special to The News-Courier
WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight July 6, 2020.
“These grant opportunities underscore USDA’s commitment to all segments of agriculture, including swiftly expanding areas of urban agriculture,” Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “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.”
“We are proud to be able to offer support though this cross-agency effort,” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. “In creating this grant opportunity, USDA will build upon its years of experience providing technical support, grant funding and research to help farmers and local and urban food businesses grow.”
USDA is making available $1 million for Planning Projects that 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 and development of policies related to zoning and other needs of urban production.
USDA is making available $2 million for 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.
A webinar, which will be held from 2-4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 3 will provide an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application.