WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages urban producers, innovative producers and other stakeholders to submit comments for and virtually attend the upcoming public meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Committee) on Nov. 29, 2023.
“USDA relies on input from the urban agriculture and innovative production community to develop programs that meet their needs,” 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.”
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 higher education or extension programs, non-profits, business and economic development, supply chains and financing. The committee last met in August 2023.
About the Meeting
Topics for the upcoming meeting will include addressing public comments and discussing the following recommended topics:
- Federal crop insurance for innovative producers
- Research, extension and education in innovative production
- Access to technical assistance
- Urban soil health and safety
- Scholarship and education support
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 the Committee’s webpage.
The virtual meeting will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 29, 2023. To attend virtually, register by Nov. 29, 2023, on the Committee’s webpage. To submit comments, send by 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 13, 2023, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Docket NRCS-2023-0019.
For special accommodations, contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.
Additional details are available in the Federal Register notice.
The 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 broad USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:
- Investing $9.1 million for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production competitive grants in fiscal year 2023.
- Investing a projected $9.5 million for Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2023 solicitation.
- Renewing the People’s Garden movement to connect communities with gardens across the country, grow using sustainable practices that benefit people and wildlife, and teach about gardening and resilient, local food systems.
- Providing technical and financial assistance through NRCS conservation programs.
- Organizing 17 Farm Service Agency urban county committees and opening USDA urban service centers in the 17 cities.
- Investing nearly $44 million in grants through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) fiscal year 2023 funding 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 Services 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.