Urban, Indoor, and Emerging Agriculture
The 2018 Farm Bill directs NIFA to establish a new competitive grant program to support research, education, and extension activities for facilitating the development of urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production, harvesting, transportation, aggregation, packaging, distribution, and markets. The Farm Bill provided $10 million in mandatory funding for the first year and authorized up to $10 million in discretionary funding annually for 2019 through 2023. NIFA plans to collect stakeholder input on program priorities. The request will be posted in the Federal Register, soliciting input on the most urgent research, education and extension needs in support of this Farm Bill Initiative.NIFA invests in urban and indoor agriculture research, extension, and education through multiple authorities and funded programs. These include formula (Hatch and Smith-Lever) and competitive programs. Links to these programs are provided below. If you are providing stakeholder input to this new initiative please consider what NIFA currently supports when providing comment on most urgent unmet research, education and extension needs.
Federal Register NoticeSolicitation of Stakeholder Input for Urban, Indoor, and Other Emerging Agricultural Production Research, Education, and Extension Initiative
Examples of current NIFA competitive programs that support urban agriculture:
- AFRI-Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems (A1102): The program was launched in 2016 and supports integrated research/education/extension projects and conference projects in all production systems, including Urban Agriculture. Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000.
- AFRI-Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Systems and Technology (A1521): The program supports integrated research/education/extension projects and conference projects in Engineering for Agricultural Production Systems. Applications must have a significant engineering component. Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000.
- AFRI-AERC Small and Medium-Sized Farms (A1601): The Agricultural Economics and Rural Communities program area of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI-AERC) program on Small and Medium-Sized Farms (A1601) funds integrated research/education/extension projects that benefit small and medium-sized farms and ranches.
Other USDA Urban and Community Agriculture Programs:NIFA is also part of USDA’s Urban and Community Agriculture Working Group, which consists of 14 USDA agencies and various offices within the Office of the Secretary. The working group supports efforts that study, support and strengthen local and regional food systems, and urban and community agricultural systems.
USDA has an Urban Agriculture Tool Kit that lays out potential operational elements for urban farmers, and identifies technical, financial, and Federal resources and programs that can support a variety of activities related to urban farming.
There is an Urban Agriculture Grants and Engagement Opportunities page listing deadlines to apply for funding from grant programs.