Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production News

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Community Food

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production News


Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production on the Road

Richmond, Virginia Urban Service Center Opening 




  • USDA Staff, Virginia State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and community stakeholders met at the Miles Jones Elementary school to celebrate the opening of Richmond’s USDA Urban Service Center. The event highlighted the importance of urban agriculture to Richmond’s Southside neighborhoods and beyond. Urban ag producers and technical experts, including former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh, held a panel discussion on the benefits of urban agriculture to local economies and food systems.

New Orleans, Louisiana Urban Service Center Opening 

New Orleans USC


  • The USDA Urban Service Center in New Orleans was opened by NRCS State Conservationist Richard Kacir and FSA State Executive Director Ronald Guidry along with USDA staff, FSA Urban County Committee members, Louisiana State Agriculture Center Extension, the Soil and Water Conservation District, urban growers, city officials, and local businesses. “The office is in the perfect location within the community, and we want everyone to feel welcome when they come here,” said Richard Kacir, NRCS State Conservationist.

Brownfields 2023 

Brownfields 2023


  • Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) staff attended Brownfields 2023 where they shared information on USDA resources that support climate-resilient food systems. Best practices across government, industry, and the community on the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties, known as brownfields, were shared. Visit EPA Brownfields and Land Revitalization for additional resources.

Urban Agriculture Conservation Forum 2023 

San Antonio Food Bank


  • The San Antonio Food Bank, with NRCS, FSA, and partners, presented agricultural workshops and demonstrations for urban/small acre farmers. Hands-on sessions included outdoor demos for using small farm tools, a rainfall simulator demonstrating soil health, and techniques for raised bed gardens. Attendees had opportunities for networking, learning new innovative approaches specific to small farms, and learning about financial and site-specific resource management ideas and options.

Composting and Food Waste Reduction Recipient Henderson County, North Carolina

Henderson County


  • OUAIP staff met with Henderson County to learn about the great things happening in their food waste composting facility. Their USDA Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) Cooperative Agreement was instrumental in providing power and equipment to the facility which is currently collecting food waste from six Henderson County Public Schools. County personnel sought out funding after their contract expired with a private hauler. The once public-private partnership is now a fully public operation, demonstrating that municipalities of all sizes have the capacity to implement their own composting and food waste reduction strategies.
  • Henderson County Environmental Programs Coordinator Amy Schmitte said, “The CFWR project has had a great impact on Henderson County and our ability to implement and expand the composting facility and programs. The County has increased diversion through the residential food waste drop off, expanded the school compost program, and increased home diversion methods by offering backyard compost bins to residents. We look forward to diverting additional food waste in the future through other collection sources like restaurants and farms.” 

People’s Garden Initiative

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

USDA Headquarters Garden Highlights 

If you are in Washington, D.C., join us for USDA’s Sukkot Celebration! Sukkot is known as the Festival of Booths, referring to temporary structures where the Jewish people dwelled during the exodus from Egypt. 

  • When: Friday, Sept. 29 10am-1pm ET
  • Schedule
    • 10am – 12pm: Make Decorations at the USDA Farmers Market (USDA parking lot at 14th Street & Independence Ave., SW)
    • 12 – 1pm: Sukkot Dedication Ceremony at USDA People’s Garden (Mall side of Whitten Building by 12th St. SW)
  • The event is sponsored by USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in partnership with the USDA People’s Garden Initiative, USDA Farmers Market, Adamah, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Capital Jewish Museum, Jewish Farmer Network, and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. 

People’s Garden Apiary

HQ Bees


  • USDA staff recently harvested delicious, local honey from the People’s Garden Apiary located on top of the Jamie L. Whitten Building!

People’s Garden September Highlight 

WVU Campus Food Garden


  • Following a simple motto – Germinate. Educate. Advocate – The West Virginia University (WVU) Campus Food Garden strives to empower the WVU community and all West Virginians to end food insecurity through garden-based education, advocacy for food justice, and community engagement. “Being a People’s Garden connects us with others who are engaged in America’s rich history of providing fresh, sustainably, and locally grown produce for our community,” a garden representative said. “Appalachia has long lived by the value of taking care of our own—both the land and the people who call it home. The combined efforts of our WVU Campus, local social services, and faith communities in this garden and urban farming project reflect the collaborative strength and relationships that bring out the best in us as we envision a more just and generous food future for our region.” 

Xerces Ambassador Program

Xerces Society

Our partners at the Xerces Society are recruiting volunteer ambassadors until Sept. 30. The program mobilizes volunteers to advance invertebrate conservation by participating in community science, organizational tasks, and community engagement. 

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