WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2023 -Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed four new members to the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Federal Advisory Committee (Committee).
The new members are replacing four members whose terms are expiring and rotating off the Committee. The Committee is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to support urban agriculture and innovative production, creating a network for feedback. The Committee’s public meetings give the urban and innovative production community and others an opportunity to witness deliberations and voting procedures.
“This Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Committee relies on a diversity of expertise and perspectives,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which houses USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). “We are excited to learn from the new insights these members will bring to the Committee and USDA is grateful for the contributions of the departing inaugural members.”
The Committee, originally established in January 2021, is made up of 12 members, representing agricultural production, innovative production, higher education or extension programs, non-profits, business and economic development, supply chains and financing. To date, the Committee has held seven public meetings since March 2022. The next meeting is Jan. 31, 2024.
About the New Members
The newly appointed Committee members who will serve a three-year term include:
- Ted Fang, San Francisco, Calif., Urban Producer;
- Qiana Mickie, New York, N.Y., Related Experience;
- Dr. Jeffrey Young, Shepherdsville, Ky., Higher Education; and
- Kate Greenberg, Denver, Colo. Greenberg, Business and Economic Development.
See the full list of Committee members and learn more on the Committee’s webpage.
OUAIP was established through the 2018 Farm Bill. It is led by NRCS and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture and innovative production. The Committee is part of a broader USDA investment in urban and innovative agriculture. Other efforts include:
- Renewing the People’s Garden Initiative, which celebrates collaborative gardens across the country and worldwide that benefit their communities by growing fresh, healthy food and supporting resilient, local food systems using sustainable practices and providing greenspace.
- Providing grants for urban agriculture and innovative production that target areas of nutrition access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, and policy development related to zoning and other urban production needs.
- Providing cooperative agreements that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.
- Investing in risk management education to broaden reach of crop insurance among urban producers.
- Organizing 17 FSA urban county committees to make important decisions about how FSA farm programs are administered locally. Urban farmers who participate in USDA programs in the areas selected are encouraged to participate by nominating and voting for county committee members.
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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