Bill introduced in the USA to create an Office of Urban Agriculture within the Department of Agriculture!
Linked by Michael Levenston
“Marcy” Kaptur (born June 17, 1946) is a Democratic Member of Congress from Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District. She is currently the longest-serving woman in the House; in the Congress. Serving her fourteenth term, she ranks 30th out of 435 members in seniority and serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee.
Creating the Office of Urban Agriculture responsible for coordinating USDA activities across the $120 billion annual budget to ensure that these authorities are unleashed for communities that do not traditionally participate in USDA programs
(Vancouver’s City Farmer has been Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture since 1978! Mike :=) — Canadian federal government next?
H.R. 4971 – March 25, 2010
To increase the emphasis on urban agricultural issues in the Department of Agriculture through the establishment of a new office to ensure that Department authorities are used to effectively encourage local agricultural production and increase the availability of fresh food in urban areas, particularly underserved communities experiencing hunger, poor nutrition, obesity, and food insecurity, and for other purposes.
Table of Contents- The table of contents of this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings and sense of Congress.
Sec. 3. Office of Urban Agriculture.
Sec. 4. Natural Resource Conservation Service technical assistance in support of backyard conservation and community gardening programs.
Sec. 5. Urban forest invasive species control program.
Sec. 6. Extension and additional funding for seniors farmers’ market nutrition program.
Sec. 7. Infrastructure funding for farmers’ markets.
Sec. 8. Evaluation of state of farmers’ markets in census of agriculture.
Sec. 9. Renaming of Rural Energy for America Program to reflect purpose of the program.
Sec. 10. Urban agriculture outreach program.
Sec. 11. Promotion of agricultural education programs in schools by authorizing higher reimbursement rates under school lunch, school breakfast, and summer food service programs.
Sec. 12. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program pilot program of local sustainability grants.
‘SEC. 221. OFFICE OF URBAN AGRICULTURE.
‘(a) Establishment- The Secretary shall establish within the executive operations of the Department an office to be known as the Office of Urban Agriculture.
‘(b) Purpose and Responsibilities of Office-
‘(1) PURPOSE- The Office of Urban Agriculture is established for the purpose of coordinating activities throughout the Department of Agriculture related to urban agriculture and nutrition.
‘(2) SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES- The Office of Urban Agriculture shall be responsible for coordinating Department activities and conducting oversight in the following mission areas:
‘(A) Ensuring that Department authorities are used to effectively encourage agricultural production in underserved communities to combat hunger, poor nutrition, obesity, and food insecurity.
‘(B) Ensuring that Department authorities are used to empower communities, especially communities with a large percentage of low-income residents, to eliminate shortages of affordable, fresh food products, increase the local production and sale of food, and create sustainable food systems.
‘(C) Developing a unified strategy to link the agricultural production and nutrition programs administered by the Department as a tool for economic development in underserved communities in a manner that addresses local conditions and engages local residents through agricultural economic development.
‘(D) Ensuring that nutrition programs administered by State agencies maximize the impact of Federal funds in creating local agricultural microenterprises.
‘(E) Conducting systematic and regular reviews of Department authorities and making policy recommendations to Congress and the Secretary on new authorities or regulation changes to assist underserved communities to combat hunger, poor nutrition, obesity, and food insecurity.
‘(F) Ensuring that the programs established by the Greening Food Deserts Act and by amendments made by that Act are implemented in a manner consistent with the goal of eliminating underserved communities.
SEC. 4. NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION SERVICE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN SUPPORT OF BACKYARD CONSERVATION AND COMMUNITY GARDENING PROGRAMS.
Section 1242 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3842) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘(j) Technical Assistance for Backyard Conservation and Community Gardening-
‘(1) AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE- The Secretary shall provide technical assistance in support of backyard conservation and community gardening programs involving small-scale subsistence and personal-use agriculture for the purpose of–
‘(A) achieving expanded and improved production; and
‘(B) implementing conservation methods related to small-scale and personal-use production.
‘(2) USE OF BOTANICAL GARDENS- To provide technical assistance under this subsection, the Secretary shall seek to certify botanical gardens as third-party providers under subsection (e).
‘(3) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $20,000,000 each fiscal year to carry out this subsection.’.
SEC. 10. URBAN AGRICULTURE OUTREACH PROGRAM.
(a) Definitions- In this section:
(1) ELIGIBLE ENTITY- The term ‘eligible entity’ means a community organization, municipality, institution of higher education, or nonprofit organization.
(2) FOOD PRODUCTION- The term ‘food production’ includes–
(A) the implementation of small scale, organic, aquiculture, and such other urban production models as the Secretary of Agriculture considers appropriate;
(B) the deployment of food infrastructure in an underserved community;
(C) the conversion of vacant land into animal and plant food production areas;
(D) the creation of infrastructure for community gardens;
(E) education regarding small-scale subsistence and personal-use agriculture; and
(F) other activities that promote agricultural enterprise and development in communities not traditionally associated with agricultural production.
(3) MICROLOAN OR GRANT- The term ‘microloan or grant’ means a business loan or grant of not more than $25,000.
(4) UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY- The term ‘underserved community’ has the meaning given that term in section 25(a)(3) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2034(a)(3)).
(b) Microloans and Grants Authorized- The Secretary of Agriculture may make a microloan or grant available to an eligible entity to support outreach activities for–
(1) developing food production in communities not traditionally associated with agricultural production; and
(2) supporting the local distribution of food products derived from the food production activities.