HARRISBURG, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced that through support from the MidAtlantic Farm Credit, the budget for the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program is increasing from $500,000 to $520,000 and the deadline has been extended to November 5, 2021.
“In recent years we have seen a tremendous hunger for agricultural infrastructure in Pennsylvania’s urban spaces,” said Redding. “In two years, the PA Farm Bill’s Urban Agriculture Program has proven to feed communities, unite people, and grow skills. But we’ve barely skimmed the surface of the potential to build a more food-secure, resilient tomorrow.”
In acknowledgement of urban agriculture’s contributions to feeding and fueling Pennsylvania, MidAtlantic Farm Credit is supporting the Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant program by providing additional financial support totaling $20,000 to broaden its reach and further support the growth of urban agriculture infrastructure in the commonwealth.
“We’re very proud to partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on their Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Program,” said MidAtlantic Farm Credit CEO Tom Truitt. “We’re looking forward to helping these dynamic producers realize their business and community goals as we expand our efforts to support urban agricultural efforts throughout the commonwealth.”
The Urban Agriculture Grant Program provides grants to improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas, the aggregation of product, sharing of resources, and support for community development efforts.
Two types of grants can be awarded: “microgrants” and “collaboration” grants. Microgrants of up to $2,500 in matching funds can be used for one-time projects or a single entity applicant. Collaboration grants (up to $50,000 in matching funds) demonstrate cooperative or regional efforts which share resources, aggregate agricultural products or producers, promote the sharing of resources among agricultural entities, and support community development.
With this new funding from the MidAtlantic Farm Credit, the Department of Agriculture is extending the application period to Friday, November 5, 2021.
“MidAtlantic Farm Credit has been a tremendous partner to agriculture and rural Pennsylvania for generations,” added Redding. “I’m incredibly grateful for this commitment to further the reach of the Urban Ag Program and support farmers across Pennsylvania, no matter their zip code.”
In the first two years of the program, the Wolf Administration invested $1 million in urban agriculture which has leveraged an additional $1 million in local investments through matching dollars. In total for the first two years, the Pennsylvania Farm Bill’s Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Program has funded 70 projects in 16 counties. (2019-20 funded, 2020- 21 funded)
The PA Farm Bill is a comprehensive set of programming and funding for Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry. With the third round of funding proposed in Governor Wolf’s 2021-22 budget, the PA Farm Bill will continue to strengthen the resiliency of the industry so many rely on to sustain life.
For more information about the Pennsylvania Farm Bill or to apply for an Urban Agriculture grant, visit agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill.
Other PA Farm Bill programs currently accepting applications include $1 million Farm Vitality Grant Program and the $3 million Resource Enhancement and Protection tax credit program.
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture