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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing the signup period for its Clean Lakes, Estuaries, And Rivers initiative (CLEAR30) — a nationwide opportunity for certain landowners and agricultural producers currently implementing water quality practices through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to enroll in 30-year contracts, extending the lifespan and strengthening the benefits of important water quality practices on their land.

About the Meeting  

USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is coordinating the meeting, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET on March 23 and 24, 2022. To attend, register by March 18, 2022.  

At the meeting, committee members will discuss administrative matters and consult on the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Urban, Indoor and Emerging Agriculture grants.  

Members of the public who wish to submit comments or questions related to urban agriculture may submit them via www.regulations.gov.

Comments must be submitted by March 18, 2022.  

For special accommodations, please contact Leslie Glover at (602) 395-9536 or UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.   

Additional details are available in the March 8, 2022 Federal Register notice and online at farmers.gov/urban or on the committee’s webpage.

USDA and Urban Agriculture  

The Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is part of a broad USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:  

Grants that target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, and policy development related to zoning and other urban production needs.  
Cooperative agreements that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.  
Investing $260,000 for risk management training and crop insurance education for historically underserved and urban producers through partnerships between USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) and the University of Maryland, University of Connecticut, and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.  
Providing technical and financial assistance through conservation programs offered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  
Organizing 11 Farm Service Agency (FSA) urban and suburban county committees. FSA will organize additional committees.  
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. Its mission is to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices, including community composting and food waste reduction.  

More information is available at farmers.gov/urban and the new Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production website at www.usda.gov/partnerships/advisory-committee-urban-ag-innovative-production.  

Additional resources that may be of interest to urban agriculture entities include grants from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture as well as FSA loans.  

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 in rural 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.  

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.