WASHINGTON, May 15, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations for four positions on the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. Nominations will be open to public from May 15, 2023, to July 15, 2023. The 12-member Committee, which first convened in March 2022, is part of USDA’s efforts to increase support for urban agriculture and innovative production. Members of the Committee provide 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 across the country.
“The Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Committee is an important opportunity for urban and innovative producers to have their voices heard and give direct feedback to USDA,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, which oversees USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. “These new members will provide valuable input on how we can better serve urban agricultural producers with a focus on equity, local food systems, access to safe and nutritious food and new ways to address climate change.”
Members of the Committee include agricultural producers and representatives from the areas of higher education or extension programs, non-profits, business and economic development, supply chains and financing. The Committee last met in April 2023.
USDA is seeking nominations for individuals representing a broad spectrum of expertise. Four positions are open for nominations including:
- One individual representing urban agriculture.
- One individual representing an institution of higher education or extension program.
- One individual representing business and economic development, which may include a business development entity, community development initiatives, a chamber of commerce, a city government or a planning organization.
- One individual representing related experience in urban, indoor and other emerging agriculture production practices.
Individuals who wish to be considered for membership must submit a nomination package including the following:
- A completed background disclosure form (Form AD-755) signed by the nominee; https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ad-755.pdf.
- A brief summary explaining the nominee’s interest in one or more open vacancies including any unique qualifications that address the membership composition and criteria described above.
- 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 15, 2023. If sending by mail, packages should be addressed to the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 4627-S, Washington, DC 20250. Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals for membership, including self-nominations. For special accommodations, contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.
Additional details are available in the Federal Register notice.
The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production 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 broad USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:
- Investing up to $7.5 million for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production competitive grants in fiscal year 2023.
- Investing up to $9.5 million for Composting and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2023.
- Renewing the People’s Garden movement — inspiring collaborative gardens across the country to join the People’s Garden community; grow using sustainable practices that benefit people and wildlife; and teach about gardening and resilient, local food systems.
- Providing technical and financial assistance through NRCS conservation programs.
- Organizing 17 Farm Service Agency urban county committees.
- Investing nearly $133 million in grants through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) that develop, coordinate, and expand producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets, and local food enterprises.
- Helping child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods through the Food and Nutrition Services Farm to School Program.
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.