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News Release

NRCS Offers Support to Urban Farmers in Harrisburg, Philly, and Pittsburgh

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has developed a new funding opportunity for individuals or groups producing agricultural crops in designated urban areas in Pennsylvania. NRCS is offering an urban agricultural project through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to provide financial and technical assistance to urban farmers to address natural resource concerns by applying conservation practices.

One of the practices offered through EQIP for urban farmers is a ‘hoop house,’ or what NRCS calls a seasonal high tunnel. Other practices available to treat resource concerns are cover crops, nutrient management, and pollinator habitat.

The EQIP urban agricultural project is being offered to producers in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

The purpose of the project is to improve natural resources while growing fruits and vegetables. “There is a pressing need for locally grown produce in urban areas, and for that reason NRCS established this project to support urban agriculture,” explains Denise Coleman, State Conservationist in Pennsylvania. “Through EQIP, a seasonal high tunnel can be installed, which will extend the growing season in an environmentally safe manner and allow farmers to produce crops beyond the normal growing season.”

Individuals or groups interested in applying to receive financial assistance through EQIP should fill out an application for the program and establish records at their local USDA Service Center. Applications must be submitted by December 18, 2020 for funding consideration.

NRCS staff can assist interested individuals and groups and be reached at the phone numbers below. Visit the Pennsylvania NRCS website for information on EQIP and the application form at www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov.

For information on the Pennsylvania EQIP urban agricultural project, NRCS points of contact by county are:

Harrisburg: 717-921-2378
Pittsburgh: 724-919-5147
Philadelphia: 484-786-7300

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