Funding Alert! Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

Competitive Grants Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service

Does your organization work to improve local food access? Do you work with food gardens, rooftop farms, green walls, or other urban or innovative agricultural practices? If you answered yes to either question, then check out this great opportunity from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Natural Resources Conservation Service under the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production agency recently announced grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production. The two types of UAIP grants being made available for application under this NFO are Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. Applications for this program are due August 8, 2022.

Who is eligible to apply?

This opportunity is for nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation (not institutions of higher education), city, township, county, or state governments, Native American tribal governments and organizations, school districts or soil and water conservation districts, and schools serving grades kindergarten through grade 12. Partners must be reflected as an awardee-sub awardee relationship.

What are the program goals?

UAIP grants are designed to improve access to local foods in areas where access to fresh, healthy food is limited or unavailable by planning and implementing urban and innovative agricultural practices. These can include community gardens, urban farms rooftop farms, urban agroforest, food forests, orchards, outdoor vertical production, green walls, indoor farms, greenhouses, high-tech vertical technology farms, and hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farm facilities.

Planning projects will initiate, build upon, or expand existing efforts, and include activities such as surveys, assessments, development of technology, design and planning, development of recommendations and strategies, creating business plans, feasibility studies, municipal planning, and producing educational materials.

Implementation projects accelerate existing or emerging models of agriculture practices and include activities such as job training, mentoring, business development assistance, increasing food production, training students for careers in agriculture, and expanding operations of community gardens or nonprofit farms.

The total available funding pool is $14,200,000, with no set number of awards. The funding range available is between $50,000 and $300,000. The project period can vary from twelve to thirty-six months beginning January 30, 2023.

What makes a project a good fit?

Organizational capacity will be considered, with preference given to organizations with three or more years of experience. In addition, special emphasis will be placed on organization’s capacity to carry out community-focused work in urban agriculture. This is measured by years of experience, ability to manage similar projects, willingness to share information and disseminate results, and collaboration with partner organizations.

Projects should align with climate, equity, and environmental justice priorities. More information can be found on these priorities in the full announcement.

What if I am ready to apply? To move your project forward, take the following action steps as soon as possible:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services (AGS) today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Julie Assel, GPC, President/CEO, will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you with a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Start preparing for next year! The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has a variety of other programs and funding opportunities available that might be a good fit. The office’s website has ample resources and descriptions of available or upcoming opportunities.

How do I learn more about federal grant proposal writing, so my application is more likely to be successful?

AGS is excited to offer a Federal Grants Training Series in 2022! The series is designed to support nonprofit leaders before and during the application process. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

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