USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

Stillwater, May 17, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of up to $2 million for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2021. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans and they are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.

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USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

Contact:
FPAC.BC.Press@usda.gov

Stillwater, May 17, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of up to $2 million for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2021. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans and they are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.

USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Office) will accept applications on Grants.gov until 10:59 p.m. Central Time on July 16, 2021. Projects should span two years with a start date of September 25, 2021 and completion date of September 25, 2023.

“Finding ways to turn food waste into nutrient rich compost is a win-win for farmers, communities and the environment,” said Janlyn Hannah, State Executive Director in Oklahoma. “The level of enthusiasm and creativity communities are putting towards this kind of problem solving is inspiring, and USDA is proud to support it.”

Details
Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that:

  • Generate compost.
  • Increase access to compost for agricultural producers.
  • Reduce reliance on and limit the use of fertilizer.
  • Improve soil quality.
  • Encourage waste management and permaculture business development.
  • Increase rainwater absorption.
  • Reduce municipal food waste.
  • Divert food waste from landfills.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide assistance for conservation related activities.

Priority will be given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts and collaborate with multiple partners.

This is the second year the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production offered this grant opportunity. Examples of previous projects include:

  • Common Ground Urban Innovation Project, Kansas- The Common Ground Mobile Market will provide fresh produce to food deserts and food insecure areas in targeted urban zip codes in Wichita and Sedgwick Counties. The project will facilitate entrepreneurial projects through job training, use of farm equipment and land, mentoring and other business development assistance to new and beginning farmers. The mobile market will partner with the K-State Extension Growing Growers program, which provides an apprentice to help with the market and offer training in farming and gardening.
  • The City of Prescott, Arizona is collaborating with the farmers’ market, volunteers, restaurants, Yavapai County Cooperative Extension and Prescott College to design, build and implement the Prescott Community Compost Program. The program educates the community about composting, reduces food waste by collecting and composting restaurant food scraps and provides high-quality compost to gardeners and farmers in Central Yavapai County, creating approximately 28 tons of compost over the two-year program.

Webinar
A pre-recorded webinar will provide an overview of the cooperative agreements’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. The webinar will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.     

More Information
Questions about this cooperative agreement opportunity can be sent to UrbanAgriculture@usda.gov.

The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production was established through the 2018 Farm Bill, and in addition to these grant opportunities, it offers grant and engagement opportunities. It includes representatives from many USDA agencies, including the Farm Service Agency and the Agricultural Marketing Service, and is led by NRCS. More information is available at farmers.gov/urban.    

Additional resources that may be of interest to urban agriculture entities include NIFA grantsFSA loans and AMS grants to improve domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers and producers.

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 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 is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.