WASHINGTON, March 30, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages urban producers, innovative producers and other stakeholders to submit comments for and virtually attend the fifth public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Committee) on April 18, 2023.
“The Federal Advisory Committee is a valuable source of on the ground information and recommendations for USDA,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which houses USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). “I encourage members of the public to attend and submit comments for the Committee to help us better serve urban and innovative producers and their communities.”
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 committee last met in February 2023.
About the Meeting
Topics for the upcoming meeting will include addressing public comments and discussing the following recommended topics:
- A new public/online database for grant and funding programs
- Farm Service Agency loan programs
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Food loss and waste; and
- Food labeling.
The Committee will deliberate and vote on proposed recommendations and address public comments during the meeting. USDA will share the agenda between 24 to 48 hours prior to the meeting on www.usda.gov/partnerships/federal-advisory-committee-urban-ag.
The virtual meeting runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern on April 18, 2023. To attend virtually, register by April 18 on the Committee’s webpage. To submit comments, send by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 2 through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Docket NRCS-2023-0006.
For special accommodations, contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.
Additional details are available in the Federal Register notice.
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 Federal Advisory Committee is part of a broad USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:
- Investing up to $7.5 million for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production competitive grants in fiscal year 2023.
- Investing up to $9.5 million for Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2023.
- Renewing the People’s Garden movement -- inspiring collaborative gardens across the country to join the People’s Garden community; grow using sustainable practices that benefit people and wildlife; and teach about gardening and resilient, local food systems. Providing technical and financial assistance through conservation programs offered by NRCS.
- Organizing 17 Farm Service Agency urban county committees.
- Investing nearly $133 million in grants through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) that develop, coordinate, and expand producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets, and local food enterprises.
- Helping child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods through the Food and Nutrition Service's Farm to School Program.
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 www.usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.