USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making available up to $7.5 million for grants through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). The 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.
What projects and activities are eligible for UAIP grants?
UAIP grants fund Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. Proposals for both types of projects must be designed to support multiple farmers or gardeners, target historically underserved areas lacking access to fresh, healthy foods, and promote urban and/or innovative agricultural practices.
Planning Projects support one or more of the following:
- Assessments of historically underserved 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. 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 support one or more of the following:
- Increasing food production in small, urban, and indoor spaces which may include emerging or innovative technology such as hydroponics, vertical farming, environmental controls, etc.
- Promoting agricultural businesses through job training and providing resources to help historically underserved communities access land and equipment, mentoring, and other assistance to new and beginning farmers in the local community.
- Implementation of best practices 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 impacted community about food systems, nutrition, agricultural production, and environmental impacts by:
- Operating community gardens or nonprofit farms that offer hands-on training in farming or gardening through 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.
What applicants are eligible to apply for UAIP grants?
Eligibility for this opportunity is limited to the following entity types:
- A nonprofit organization:
- Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education)
- Nonprofits that do not have a 501 (c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education)
- A unit of local government, including:
- City, township, county, or regional governments
- School districts
- Soil and Water Conservation districts (regional organization)
- A Tribal Government, including
- Native American Tribal Governments (federally recognized)
- Native American Tribal organizations (including organizations that are not federally recognized Tribal Governments)
- Any school serving grades Kindergarten through grade 12
How much funding is available through this opportunity?
USDA expects to award approximately $7,500,000 in grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 for Planning Projects and $75,000 to $350,000 for Implementation Projects. There is no cost sharing or matching requirement for this opportunity.
What is the deadline to apply for UAIP grants?
Applicants must submit their applications through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 27, 2023.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found here.
For more information on this program or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-893-4764.