USDA announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, established as part of the 2018 farm bill. The agency is making $1 million available 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. Another $2 million will be available 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. “California urban agriculture is at the forefront of food sovereignty, food security, and food justice initiatives, providing local fresh produce and bringing new life to food deserts,” said NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight July 6, 2020. A webinar, which will be held on June 3, 2020, from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT, will provide an overview of the grants. Information on how to register and participate in the webinar, or listen to the recording, will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.
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