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USDA Invests in Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Effort in Denver

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USDA Invests in Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Effort in Denver

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing approximately $350,000 in a grant to the International Rescue Committee in Denver for its New Roots: Seeds of Change program. The project is funded through USDA’s Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) grant program, which last month announced $7.4 million in funding nationwide. The grant will enable the International Rescue Committee to work with refugee communities to promote urban agriculture in the Denver area. This project is the third UAIP grant in Colorado, joining Growing Garden of Boulder County and the Mountain Roots Food Project. Denver is also the site of one of ten new USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) urban county committees, which help with local administration of FSA programs.

“This funding will support community efforts to expand access to fresh, healthy food in the Denver area,” said Clint Evans, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist in Colorado. “The growing popularity of this grant program shows the importance of our broad support for urban agriculture, local and regional food systems and underserved communities here in Colorado and nationwide.”  

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grants 

The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) competitive grants program supports a wide range of activities through two types of grants, planning projects and implementation projects, which allow recipients to increase food production and access in economically distressed communities, provide job training and education, and allow partners to develop business plans and zoning proposals. These grants build on $40 million in projects funded since 2020 and are part of USDA’s broad support for urban agriculture through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). Funding limits only allowed USDA to select the top scoring applications reviewed. This year, USDA received more than 300 applications, which is twice last year’s applications. 

Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grants 

The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) competitive grants program supports a wide range of activities through two types of grants, planning projects and implementation projects, which allow recipients to increase food production and access in economically distressed communities, provide job training and education, and allow partners to develop business plans and zoning proposals. These grants build on $40 million in projects funded since 2020 and are part of USDA’s broad support for urban agriculture through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). The applicants selected were the top-scoring among a large and very competitive pool of applicants; this year, USDA received more than 300 applications –twice last year’s applications. 

More Information 

OUAIP, established through the 2018 Farm Bill, works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture and innovative production. OUAIP coordinates across USDA to help agencies identify, priorities and resolve internal barriers to service with urban, small-scale and innovative customers. UAIP grants are part of a broad USDA investment in urban agriculture. 

 Other efforts include:   

Additionally, OUAIP helps employees at all levels of the USDA to understand that USDA supports agriculture regardless of the size of the operations, where it is located, or how the products are produced. 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. 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 streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities throughout America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.  

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