USDA is working to support urban agriculture as it plays an important role in growing not only fresh, healthy food where grocery stores are scarce, but also providing jobs and beautifying neighborhoods.
Urban agriculture includes the cultivation, processing and distribution of agricultural products in urban and suburban areas. Community gardens, rooftop farms, hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic facilities, and vertical production are all examples of urban agriculture. Tribal communities and small towns may also be included.
USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
The 2018 Farm Bill established the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) to better focus on the needs of urban farmers. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) leads the USDA-wide office, including representatives from other USDA agencies like Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
USDA is committed to serving the needs of all kinds of agriculture, including urban agriculture and related benefits of extending regional and local food production and increasing access to healthy, fresh food. USDA supports through:
- Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agricultural and Innovative Production
- Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees focused on urban agriculture
- Grants and cooperative agreements
- Programs and services
Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
This committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices as well as identify any barriers to urban agriculture. Learn more on our Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production webpage.
Farm Service Agency County Office Committees for Urban Agriculture
USDA established 11 county office committees devoted exclusively to urban agriculture in Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Richmond, VA; and St. Louis, MO. Each committee is composted of 3-11 members, and these committee members help ensure fair and equitable administration of Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm programs in their county or multi-county jurisdiction. USDA plans to add additional committees. Learn more on the County Committee Elections webpage.
Grants and Cooperative Agreements
Grants are available to initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. USDA will announce 2022 funding opportunities soon. Learn more on our Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grants webpage.
Cooperative agreements assist local and municipal governments with projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. Implementation activities will increase access to compost for agricultural producers, improve soil quality and encourages innovative, scalable waste management plans that reduce and divert food waste from landfills. USDA will announce 2022 funding opportunities soon. Learn more on our Composting and Food Waste Reduction Cooperative Agreements webpage.
USDA Programs and Services
USDA offers a wide variety of programs and services to urban producers to help them start, expand and improve their operations. This includes conservation, disaster assistance, crop insurance, and safety-net programs. Learn more at farmers.gov/urban.
- Fact Sheet: USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production: Reducing Food Waste (PDF, 746 KB)
- Sign up for E-mail updates on Urban Agriculture
- Farmers.gov Blog: Urban Farming Posts
Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
1400 Independence Avenue, SW.
Washington, D.C. 20250-0170