VDACS News Releases
May 1, 2016
USDA Unveils New Urban Agriculture Toolkit for Urban Farmers and Agribusiness Entrepreneurs
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit, a new resource created by USDA's Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture. From neighborhood gardens grown on repurposed lots to innovative mobile markets and intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations, urban food production is rapidly growing into a mature business sector in cities across the country.
Industry estimates show U.S. local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008, and experts anticipate that value to hit $20 billion by 2019. The numbers also show that these opportunities are helping to drive job growth in agriculture, increase entrepreneurship and expand food access and choice.
USDA's Toolkit is an electronic document that helps urban and small farms navigate more than 70 helpful resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. It focuses on some of the most pressing challenges confronting urban producers such as land access, soil quality, water resources, capital and financing, infrastructure, market development, production strategies and applying for federal, state or private foundation grants. The kit gives cost estimates for starting urban farms and includes information on best practices and check lists for start-ups and early-stage producers planning outdoor or indoor operations.
Some of the USDA resources featured in the Toolkit include:
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.
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