WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages urban producers, innovative producers, and other stakeholders to virtually attend the third public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Committee) on Nov. 29. This Committee will discuss recommendations it intends to submit to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to remove barriers to urban and innovative producers and increase access of urban and innovative producers to USDA programs and services.
“The federal advisory committee’s expertise and guidance is helping us dig into issues facing urban producers, enabling us to determine ways USDA can better serve them,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which leads USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). “This partnership helps urban producers as well as the neighborhoods they grow in, supporting equity and resilient local food systems and access to nutritious food.”
The Committee is part of USDA’s efforts to support urban and innovative agriculture, creating a network for feedback. Members include agricultural producers, and representatives from the areas of higher education or extension programs, non-profits, business and economic development, supply chains and financing. The inaugural public meeting of the Committee was held in March 2022 and a second public meeting was held in August 2022.
About the Meeting
- Election of the next Chairperson; and
- Discussion, deliberation and voting on recommendations for the Secretary.
The meeting will be held from 3-5 p.m. ET on Nov. 29. To attend virtually, register by Nov. 28 on the Committee’s webpage.
If you have written comments, submit by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 22. through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Docket #2022-24020.
For special accommodations, contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.
USDA will share the agenda between 24 to 48 hours prior to the meeting on www.usda.gov/partnerships/federal-advisory-committee-urban-ag. Additionally, other resources include the November 4 Federal Register notice and the Committee’s webpage.
OUAIP was established through the 2018 Farm Bill. It is led by NRCS and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture and innovative production. The Committee is part of a broader USDA investment in urban and innovative agriculture. Other efforts include:
- Renewing the People’s Garden Initiative, which celebrates collaborative gardens across the country and worldwide that benefit their communities by growing fresh, healthy food and supporting resilient, local food systems using sustainable practices and providing greenspace.
- Providing grants for urban agriculture and innovative production that target areas of nutrition access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, and policy development related to zoning and other urban production needs. This year, USDA invested $14.2 million in 52 projects announced in late October as well as $18.7 million in 75 grant-worthy projects that were not able to be funded in 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act was a major source of funds for these grants.
- Providing cooperative agreements that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.
- Investing in risk management education to broaden reach of crop insurance among urban producers.
- Organizing 17 FSA urban county committees to make important decisions about how FSA farm programs are administered locally. Urban farmers who participate in USDA programs in the areas selected are encouraged to participate by nominating and voting.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities throughout America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.
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