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Deadline: August 2, 2022

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) grants support projects designed to improve access to local foods in areas where access to fresh, healthy food is limited or unavailable through urban and/or innovative agricultural practices, including, but not limited to, community gardens, urban farms, rooftop farms, urban agroforest, food forests, orchards, outdoor vertical production, green walls, indoor farms, greenhouses, high-tech vertical technology farms, and hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farm facilities.

The primary goal of the UAIP pilot project is to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production. The two types of UAIP grants being made available for application are Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.

Planning Projects are for supporting the development of projects that will either initiate, build upon, or expand the efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools, members of tribal communities, and other stakeholders in areas where access to fresh foods are limited or unavailable. Planning Projects support one or more of the following:

  • Assessments of community needs within the local food system to identify how food is grown, distributed, or marketed and what existing needs related to food access, nutrition education, conservation, and economic development can be addressed by urban and/or innovative agriculture.
  • Planning activities and community partnerships to improve how food is grown, distributed, or marketed in the target area using urban and/or innovative agriculture.
  • Business planning, feasibility studies, and other strategies, such as community resource development, that support new and beginning farmers, particularly within socially disadvantaged and underserved communities. USDA defines beginning farmers and ranchers as those who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less either as a sole operator or with others who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less.
  • Policy development to make municipal policies and zoning laws in the target area more supportive of the needs of urban and/or innovative agriculture.
  • Creating educational materials and programs that will increase knowledge about food and agriculture, and encourage careers in agriculture and innovative production in the target community; example topics include nutrition, crop and biology science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Implementation Projects are for accelerating existing and emerging models of urban and/or innovative agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers or gardeners. Innovation may include new and emerging, as well as traditional or Indigenous, agricultural practices. Implementation projects support one or more of the following:

  • Increasing food production in small, urban, and indoor spaces, including through the use of emerging technology.
  • Promoting agricultural businesses through job training and providing resources to help communities access land and equipment, mentoring, and other assistance to new and beginning farmers in the local community.
  • Implementation of activities to address food access, zoning, compost, land access, soil health, emerging technologies, infrastructure needs (such as access to water and utilities) at the State, local, municipal, or school level to meet the needs of target community and local agricultural producers.
  • Educating the target community about food systems, nutrition, agricultural production, and environmental impacts by:
    • Operating community gardens or nonprofit farms that offer training in farming or gardening through hands-on, virtual, or web-based formats.
    • Providing K-12 schools with educational resources or programs that increase student knowledge of and access to locally grown foods, emphasize the importance of consuming nutritious and locally grown foods, and train students for careers in agriculture or innovative production.

Amount: Approximately $14,200,000 is available for awards in two categories:

  1. Planning Projects (PP): Funds are used as an early-stage investment in new, startup projects. The funding floor for PP is $50,000 and the funding ceiling is $300,000.
  2. Implementation Projects (IP): Funds are used to accelerate or expand the work of an existing project. The funding floor for IP is $50,000 and the funding ceiling is $300,000.

Eligibility: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education); a unit of local government, including: City, township, or county governments; School districts; Soil and Water Conservation districts; a Tribal Government, including Native American Tribal Governments (federally recognized); Native American Tribal organizations (other than Federally-recognized tribal governments); and a school serving grades K-12.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=340885

Note: A webinar has been pre-recorded and is available at https://youtu.be/hgVgYgU9SU0

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