WASHINGTON, May 15, 2023 –
The Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is looking for candidates to fill four open seats, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Public nominations will be accepted from May 15 through July 15 of 2023. The 12-member Committee, whose inaugural meeting took place in March 2022, is a component of the USDA’s initiatives to boost support for novel production and urban agriculture. As the USDA strives to promote urban farming and the economic possibilities it affords in communities around the country, members of the Committee offer advice on policy formulation and assist in identifying obstacles to urban agriculture.
“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 is in charge of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. “These new members will offer insightful feedback on how we can better support urban agricultural producers with a focus on equity, local food systems, access to safe and nutritious food, and novel approaches to addressing climate change,” the statement reads.
Producers of agriculture as well as representatives from higher education or extension programs, nonprofit organizations, business and economic development, supply chains, and finance make up the Committee’s membership. In April 2023, the Committee last convened.
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; www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/ad-755.pdf (PDF, 2.1 MB).
- 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).
By July 15, 2023, nomination packets must be mailed or emailed to UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov. Packages should be sent to the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production at 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 4627-S, Washington, DC 20250 if sending them via mail. Self-nominations are permitted, as are nominations from any interested party or organization. Contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov if you require special accommodations.
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.
The USDA has a beneficial impact on every American’s life every day. With a greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, creating new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, and making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities across America, the USDA is transforming America’s food system under the Biden-Harris administration. Go to usda.gov for additional information.