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Delaware State Office

State Executive Director

Robin Talley

Robin Talley

Read Robin Talley '

State Office Address

1221 College Park DR
Suite 201
Dover, Delaware 19904
(302) 678-4250
(855) 389-2246

 Applications for USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grants Due April 9

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2024 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants to support urban agriculture and innovative production. Applications for USDA’s Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production grants are due April 9, 2024, via grants.gov. 

“This grant program has proven very popular and impactful in recent years, and we look forward to partnering with more communities nationwide to strengthen local food systems and increase access to healthy foods,” said Terry Cosby, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which leads USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). “These projects will add to the important work communities are doing to build food security in underserved areas.”  

Since 2020, UAIP grants have invested more than $46.8 million in 186 projects across the country, and they’re part of USDA’s broad support for urban and innovative producers. UAIP grants are available to a wide range of individuals and entities, including local and Tribal governments, nonprofits, and schools. OUAIP provides grants for two types of projects, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. 

Planning Projects 

Planning Projects initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Projects may target areas of food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers and the development of plans related to zoning and other needs of urban production. For example, the May James Urban Agriculture Park Planning project in Charlotte, N.C. will address significant issues including food deserts, socio-economic disparities, physical inactivity and nutrition-related health problems by planning an urban agriculture park in an underserved area. In Flagstaff, Ariz. the County of Coconino and partners will develop, implement, and refine a model for community and culturally connected agriculture education to increase engagement in the local food system and increase food security for resident populations in need. 

Implementation Projects 

Implementation Projects accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve farmers and communities. Projects may improve local food access, include collaboration with partner organizations, and support infrastructure needs, emerging technologies, and educational endeavors.  For example, Flint River Fresh in Albany, Ga. will bring fresh, healthy food directly to the community and guide residents to self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship through urban agriculture including a new hydroponic greenhouse, a grocery space in a low food-access location and expanded outreach and educational opportunities. Grow It Forward in Manitowoc, Wis. will increase food production and improve access to local healthy food, establish an urban agriculture training program, and expand the capacity of the existing hydroponic farm, community garden, and greenhouse. 

More Information       

OUAIP 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.  Other efforts include:       

  • Administering the People’s Garden Initiative,which celebrates collaborative gardens across the country and worldwide that benefit their communities by growing fresh, healthy food and supporting resilient, local food systems using sustainable practices and providing greenspace.     
  • Creating and managing a Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production to advise the Secretary on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban agriculture.     
  • Providing cooperative agreementsthat develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.    
  • Investing in risk management educationto broaden reach of crop insurance among urban and innovative producers.    
  • Organizing 27 FSA urban county committees to make important decisions about how FSA farm programs are administered locally. Urban farmers who participate in USDA programs in the areas selected are encouraged to participate by nominating and voting for county committee members.    
  • Establishing 17 new Urban Service Centers staffed by FSA and NRCS employees where urban producers can access farm loan, conservation, disaster assistance and risk management programs.
  • Partnering with the Vermont Law and Graduate School Center for Agriculture and Food Systemsto develop resources that help growers understand and work through local policies. 

Learn more at usda.gov/urban. For additional resources available to producers, download the Urban Agriculture at a Glance brochure or visit farmers.gov/urban.    

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 throughout 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 Partners with Delaware to Award Over $1.7 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure

 WASHINGTON, February 7, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Delaware under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Delaware are working together to offer over $1.7 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Delaware will accept applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding beginning March 12, 2024, through April 30, 2024.

In May 2023, USDA announced the availability of up to $420 million through RFSI to strengthen local and regional food systems. Through this program, AMS has entered into cooperative agreements with state agencies, commissions, or departments responsible for agriculture, commercial food processing, seafood, or food system and distribution activities or commerce activities in states or U.S. territories. RFSI is authorized by the American Rescue Plan. Updates for each state’s Request for Applications for the RFSI program are available on the AMS website.

“This partnership between USDA and Delaware is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded through this program will create new opportunities for the region’s small and midsize producers to thrive, expand access to nutritious food options, and increase supply chain resiliency.”

Using RFSI funding, the Delaware Department of Agriculture will fund projects that provide technical assistance to producers working to develop value-added products; expand access to climate-smart technologies for farmers and food waste management; and increase the number of facilities that support product aggregation, cold storage, warehousing, and distribution. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

“While interstate and international trade is extremely important, there is a significant need to build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, provide more and better markets to small- and mid-sized farms and food businesses, and support the development of value-added products in Delaware to help feed our residents and grow jobs,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The Delaware Department of Agriculture is committed to helping farmers by participating in USDA’s Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program to support expanded capacity for processes like aggregation, transportation, and distribution of Delaware Grown products. We will also be able to increase the knowledge and resource access for our farmers and our communities. Programs like RFSI help make farming profitable so that producers remain in the business of producing food, which is important to all of us.”

Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Applications will be accepted beginning March 12, 2024, through April 30, 2024. AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities. 

Through the program and in addition to the Infrastructure Grant funding, the Delaware Department of Agriculture will support supply chain coordination and technical assistance to farmers and food businesses operating in processing, aggregation and distribution—all critical activities to support access to more and better markets for farmers.

For more information, visit the AMS Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In 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 www.usda.gov.


USDA Now Accepting Farm Loan Payments Online

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that most farm loan borrowers will soon be able to make payments to their direct loans online through the Pay My Loan feature on farmers.gov in early February. Pay My Loan is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to streamline its processes, especially for producers who may have limited time during the planting or harvest seasons to visit a local FSA office; modernize and improve customer service; provide additional customer self-service tools; and expand credit access to assist more producers. For More Information