Advancing Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems in Virginia
Our Virginia Tech Center for Food systems and Community Transformation, in partnership with Virginia State University’s (VSU) Small Farm Outreach Program and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), is leading a project titled “Advancing Urban Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems in Virginia.”
This project emerges from a national call from the USDA’s FSA to support urban growers through culturally appropriate education, technical assistance, and outreach programming. This project has five main objectives 1) Build Organizational, Farmer, and Agency Capacity to Assist VA Urban Farmers, 2) Increase Understanding of Urban Agriculture in Virginia, 3) Increase Knowledge, Awareness, and Participation in FSA and USDA Programs and Services Associated with Growing Food in an Urban Area, 4) Assist Farmers with Expanding Farming Operations, Accessing Land, and Implementing Climate-friendly Practices in Urban Areas, and 5) Increase Access and Participation of Underserved Farmers in FSA Programs and Services in Urban Areas.
Activities to help achieve these objectives include co-designing and implementing Urban Agriculture Enhancement Project mini-grants; conducting a Virginia Urban Agriculture Landscape Assessment; hosting 6 regional urban agriculture convenings; creating an online resource center with urban agricultural content; launching a Richmond area urban agriculture tool lending library; and leading FSA’s Train the Trainer program “Urban Food Systems and Farming.”