Champaign, IL – USDA Grants for Illinois Urban Agriculture Open for Applications

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Champaign, IL – Illinois farmers and urban growers have until April 9, 2024, to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) grants. 

Managed by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), this grant program is designed to strengthen local food systems and enhance access to healthy foods, particularly in underserved communities. Terry Cosby, Chief of NRCS, emphasized the program’s significance in supporting urban agriculture initiatives across the country, including Illinois. 

Since 2020, the UAIP initiative has funded over 186 projects with a total investment exceeding $46.8 million nationwide, demonstrating the USDA’s commitment to supporting urban and innovative producers. Eligible entities for these grants include local and Tribal governments, nonprofits, and schools in Illinois, aiming to facilitate planning and implementation of urban agriculture projects. 

Successful initiatives have ranged from developing urban agriculture parks to establishing hydroponic greenhouses that encourage community self-sufficiency. Illinois applicants seeking to make a positive impact on local food security and sustainability are encouraged to apply through grants.gov. 

For detailed application guidelines and project examples, visit usda.gov/urban or farmers.gov/urban.

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