On Wednesday, Reps. Shontel Brown (OH-11) and Alma Adams (NC-12) introduced the Supporting Urban and Innovative Farming Act of 2023. The legislation would build upon the successes of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production since its launch in 2020. The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) proudly endorses this marker bill and thanks Rep. Brown for her leadership in supporting America's urban, suburban, and rural producers.
The Supporting Urban and Innovative Farming Act will make programmatic reforms to strengthen the content and delivery of technical assistance to urban and innovative producers. It will enable cooperative agreements, increase access to grant funding among farmers, and scale composting and food waste initiatives. The legislation continues — and expands upon — the successes of the oversubscribed programs of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP).
Established in the 2018 Farm Bill, the OUAIP has led to USDA Service Centers being opened in urban cities for the first time. This has given a growing number of urban, suburban, and innovative farmers increased access to on-the-ground support for navigating farm loans and taking advantage of conservation programs that can support their farm's success.
OEFFA Grassroots Policy Organizer Nicole Wolcott, "Supporting our nation's agricultural future, the act will also enable a better understanding of urban and innovative producers' contributions to community food security. Through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the bill will fund research that investigates aeroponic, aquaponic, hydroponic, and other controlled-environment production systems. It will also direct the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to complete a data census for urban, indoor, and emerging agricultural producers."
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