The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the selection of recipients for more than $6.6 million in grants and cooperative agreements through the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. These grants and cooperative agreements build on $4.1 million in projects funded in 2020.
“As the People’s Department, USDA is committed to assisting all facets of agriculture, including operations in our cities,” said Ron Alvarado, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Oregon.
“These projects nourish communities with fresh, healthy food, teach generations the joy and fulfillment of farming and partnerships, and produce environmental benefits by reducing food waste and creating compost that can be used in a variety of farming operations,” said Josh Hanning, USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director in Oregon.
The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program supports a wide range of activities through two grant types, which are Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. Activities include operating community gardens and nonprofit farms, increasing food production and access in economically distressed communities, providing job training and education, and developing business plans and zoning.
USDA is awarding $4.75 million for 10 Planning Projects and 11 Implementation Projects. In Oregon, Growing Gardens is the Planning Project grant recipient. Growing Gardens is a non-profit organization that started in Portland, Oregon in 1996. Growing Garden’s vision is for everyone to have equal access to healthy food and to be stewardesses of our own communities through sharing resources, educating each other, and learning new skills.
Community compost and food waste reduction project
Through Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) Projects, USDA is investing approximately $1.92 million in 24 pilot projects to develop and implement strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. USDA prioritized projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers - including community gardeners - integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts, and collaborate with multiple partners.
For a complete list of grant and cooperative agreement recipients and project summaries, visit farmers.gov/urban.