Opportunity to Contribute Expertise in Innovative Production, Higher Education, Supply Chain, and Urban Farming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently accepting nominations for four positions on the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The nomination period runs from May 7, 2024, to July 7, 2024. This 12-member Committee, established in March 2022, is a crucial part of USDA’s efforts to increase support for urban agriculture and innovative production practices across the United States.

Committee’s Vital Role

The Committee members provide valuable input on policy development and help identify barriers to urban agriculture, as USDA works to promote urban farming and the economic opportunities it provides in cities nationwide. According to Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which oversees USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, “The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Committee has already submitted more than a dozen recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and continues to provide direct feedback to USDA about how to better serve producers and communities.”

Positions Open for Nomination

USDA is seeking nominations for individuals representing a broad spectrum of expertise in the following four positions:

  • One individual who is an agricultural producer or farmer using innovative technology.
  • One individual representing an institution of higher education or extension program.
  • One individual with supply chain experience, which may include a food aggregator, wholesale food distributor, food hub, or an individual who has direct-to-consumer market experience.
  • One individual representing related experience in urban, indoor, and other emerging agriculture production practices.

Nomination Requirements

Individuals interested in being considered for membership must submit a nomination package including the following:

  • A completed Background Disclosure Form (Form AD-755) signed by the nominee.
  • A summary explaining the nominee’s interest in one or more open vacancies, including any unique qualifications that address the membership composition and criteria.
  • A resume providing the nominee’s background, experience, and educational qualifications.
  • Recent publications by the nominee relative to extending support for urban agriculture or innovative production (optional).
  • Letter(s) of endorsement (optional).

Nomination packages must be submitted by email to UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov or postmarked by July 7, 2024. For special accommodations, contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.

USDA’s Commitment to Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, established through the 2018 Farm Bill, is led by NRCS and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies to support urban agriculture and innovative production. The Committee is part of a broader USDA investment in this area, which includes:

  • Investing $9.1 million for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production competitive grants in fiscal year 2023.
  • Administering the People’s Garden Initiative, which celebrates collaborative gardens that benefit communities by growing fresh, healthy food and supporting resilient, local food systems using sustainable practices.
  • Investing approximately $11.5 million in cooperative agreements for developing and testing strategies for municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans in fiscal year 2023.
  • Investing $40 million, made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, into partnerships with community-based organizations to conduct outreach, education, and technical assistance for urban producers.
  • Investing in risk management education to broaden the reach of crop insurance among urban and innovative producers.
  • Organizing 27 FSA urban county committees to make local decisions about farm program administration.
  • Establishing 17 new Urban Service Centers staffed by FSA and NRCS employees where urban producers can access various USDA programs.
  • Partnering with the Vermont Law and Graduate School Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to develop resources that help growers understand and work through local policies.

Learn More About USDA’s Urban Agriculture Initiatives

For more information about USDA’s urban agriculture initiatives, grants, and resources available to producers, visit USDA.gov, to download the Urban Agriculture at a Glance brochure, or visit Farmers.gov.

Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.

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