USDA-NRCS Announces Urban Agriculture Investments



Last month, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced $43 million in grants and cooperative agreements to help deliver key USDA programs to urban producers. Specifically, USDA is investing $10.2 million in new cooperative agreements to expand compost and food waste reduction efforts and $14.2 million in new grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. Plus, another $18.7 million will fund 75 grant proposals from the 2021 application cycle, which was oversubscribed. These actions support USDA’s efforts to strengthen the food supply chain and transform the food system to be fairer, more competitive, and more resilient.

“Investing in urban agriculture innovations helps us build a fairer, more transparent food system and promote equity by increasing nutrition security and economic opportunity in underserved communities,” said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “These projects will help for urban farmers create new, more affordable, and better local market options and help urban communities produce fresh and healthy food locally, reducing food waste while building nutrient rich compost.”


The goals of USDA’s Food System Transformation Framework include:

  • Building a more resilient food supply chain that provides more and better market options for consumers and producers while reducing carbon pollution.
  • Creating a fairer food system that combats market dominance and helps producers and consumers gain more power in the marketplace by creating new, more and better local market options.
  • Making nutritious food more accessible and affordable for consumers. 
  • Emphasizing equity by creating wealth that stays in small towns and underserved communities.

More information about these efforts can be found on the USDA-NRCS website.