U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, filed an amendment to restore $8.5 million in funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production to the Senate’s Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill.
Neither the Senate nor House agriculture appropriations bills included dedicated funding for the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. Stabenow’s amendment would restore funding to the office and its programs. The amendment is cosponsored by Senators Brown, Blumenthal, Booker, Durbin, Feinstein, Fetterman, Gillibrand, and Rosen.
“Urban agriculture is growing in cities and towns across the country, creating new economic opportunities and healthier communities,” said Stabenow. “In addition to administering popular grant programs, the office has been integral in efforts to improve access for urban and innovative producers to programs like new Urban Service Centers around the country and a new Federal Crop Insurance program for greenhouse producers. We have made so much progress, and there is still so much to do. Restoring this funding in the appropriations bill will ensure that urban agriculture can continue to grow and thrive as an emerging sector of the industry.”
Stabenow has long championed urban agriculture as both Ranking Member and Chairwoman of the Committee. It was through her leadership that the 2018 Farm Bill formally recognized urban agriculture at the United States Department of Agriculture for the first time by establishing the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production and supporting grant programs. Since then, the office has invested more than $50 million in more than 230 grants and cooperative agreements across the country to support urban agriculture.