USDA has announced the creation of new Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees focused exclusively on urban agriculture. County committees represent farmers and set priorities at the local level. The committees are organized through USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production, and the first five will be located in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Cleveland, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Richmond, Virginia.
USDA plans to announce locations for five additional county committees in the fall. The urban and suburban county committees will work to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices. Additionally, the new county committees may address areas such as food access, community engagement, support of local activities to promote and encourage community compost, and food waste reduction.
FSA will begin accepting nominations for urban and suburban county committee members on September 8, 2020. Urban farmers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program in the county selected may either be nominated or may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women, and minority producers, also may nominate candidates.