Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production News

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Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production News


  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program has up to $500 million available for fiscal year 2023. Priorities include urban agriculture, climate smart agriculture and working with Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers. Application deadline: August 18, 2023.
  • Agricultural Marketing Service opportunities:
    • Indigenous Animals Grant Program provides up to $50 million dollars to support Tribal Nations expand or enhance indigenous animals and meat processing capacity in Indian Country. Application deadline: July 19, 2023.
    • Local Meat Capacity Grant Program provides up to $75 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to build resilience in the meat and poultry supply chain by providing more local processing options and strengthening market potential. Application deadline: July 19, 2023.
    • Organic Market Development Grant has approximately $75 million available to support the development of new and expanded organic markets. Application deadline: August 8, 2023.
    • Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) will provide up to $420 million for states and territories to make subawards through competitive Infrastructure Grants to expand aggregation, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution capacity and infrastructure for domestic food and farm businesses. States and territories may also use a limited portion of RFSI funds to conduct complementary supply chain activities that build state-level capacity in local and regional food systems development and support the success of Infrastructure Grant subaward recipients. Start Plan Due Date: August 23, 2023.
  • U.S. Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry National Challenge Cost Share Grant Program is providing up to $500,000 for Urban and Community Forestry investments that address the National Ten Year Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan: Goal 5 Improve Urban and Community Forest Management, Maintenance and Stewardship. Application deadline: August 15, 2023.
  • Foreign Agriculture Service Cochran Fellowship Program has an open opportunity for Minority Serving Institutions to educate Cochran Fellows on best practices within urban agriculture, including community building to increase global food security. Applications due: July 31, 2023.
  • Farm Service Agency is now accepting nominations for farmers and ranchers to serve on local county committees. Nomination form deadline (all nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office): August 1, 2023.

Highlights from USDA

NYC Site Visits


USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) staff continue to travel around the country to learn from our partners and producers!

  • USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie and OUAIP staff had the pleasure of attending the Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit, joining over 500 Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) leaders discussing CEA’s role in providing sustainable, accessible food. Undersecretary Bonnie provided an Opening Keynote address titled, “USDA's Definition of Agriculture is Broadening” describing the various ways that USDA plays a role in supporting innovative producers. 
  • While in NYC, staff had wonderful visits with the following urban agriculture and innovative production leaders:
Urban Ag Stakeholders


  • Finally, the dynamic conversations continued between Undersecretary Bonnie, OUAIP’s Director Guse, and NYC Stakeholders including Qiana Mickie, Executive Director of NYC Office of Urban Agriculture, Annette Nielsen, Executive Director of Hunter Food Policy Center, Sheryll Durrant and Monti Lawson, NYC Urban County Committee Members, FSA State Executive Director Jim Barber, and Kendall Hough and Damali Wynter from New York’s Agriculture Commissioner’s office.
CEA Toledo


Across the country in Ohio, OUAIP staff also attended and presented at the Workshop on Advancing Controlled Environment Agriculture on Land and in Space in the Next 20 Years, an event jointly sponsored by USDA, the Department of Energy, and NASA and hosted by the University of Toledo.

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Federal Advisory Committee

The sixth public meeting of the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee will be held August 1, 2023, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT. The public may attend via Zoom and registration is required (see link below). Written comments will be accepted via regulations.gov until August 15, 2023 (see link below). General questions and comments can be emailed to UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.

Meeting Registration Link

Federal Register Notice / Written Comments

People’s Garden Initiative

Join the People’s Garden movement of over 1,400 gardens today by registering at usda.gov/peoples-garden. In joining the network, your garden will be highlighted on the People’s Garden website and provided a sign to display in the garden. You will also be invited to network with gardens from across the country.

PG Webinar


  • The next segment of the People’s Garden free webinar series is titled “Gardens Unifying Cultures and Communities” on June 27 at 3 p.m. EST. Explore the links between culture and gardening and see how communities come together through gardening. Registration link can be found at People’s Garden Webinars along with previous webinar recordings.

Interested in learning what other gardens are up to? Check out our featured gardens this month.

Urban Tree Connection


  • Pennsylvania NRCS awarded funding to Urban Tree Connection, a community-based organization in West Philadelphia. With the financial support provided, they were able to grow nearly 3,000 pounds of produce using sustainable growing practices. The project saw the group appoint community leaders as block captains and nearly 75 families were given fresh food on a biweekly basis. Love the people! Feed the people! That’s the slogan that this farm project spreads for the community to live by.


  • The Giving Garden of Gainesville, FL believes access to organic, fresh produce should be a right, not a privilege. They’re on a journey to bridge the gap between underserved community members and local, quality food. Check-out their video to learn more.

What We’re Reading

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