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News Release

USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction


GAINESVILLE, Fla. May 18, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $2 million for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction pilot projects for fiscal year 2021. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost and food waste reduction plans. USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production will accept applications on until July 16, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Projects should span two years starting Sept. 25, 2021 until Sept. 25, 2023.

Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that:

  • Generate compost.

  • Increase access to compost for agricultural producers.

  • Reduce reliance on and limit the use of fertilizer.

  • Improve soil quality.

  • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development.

  • Increase rainwater absorption.

  • Reduce municipal food waste.

  • Divert food waste from landfills.

Priority will be given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, collaborate with multiple partners, and integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts.

This is the second year the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production offered this grant opportunity. Last fiscal year in Florida the city of Gainesville was awarded a grant for the Gainesville Pilot Composting Program. The project implements a residential curbside food waste collection program, boosts community composting efforts, and develops an overall local food waste strategy. Community outreach includes educational materials promoting the importance of food waste reduction, benefits of composting, and farm use of compost.

A pre-recorded webinar provides an overview of the purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for applying. The webinar will be posted at 

More Information
Send questions about this cooperative agreement opportunity to Additional resources for urban agriculture entities include NIFA grantsFSA loans and AMS grants to improve domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers and producers. The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established through the 2018 Farm Bill and is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. More information is available at    


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In 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 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 in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit