02/02/2023 | Press release | Archived content
Lexington, Kentucky, Feb. 2, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $9.4 million in 45 cooperative agreements that support innovative, scalable waste management plans to reduce and divert food waste from landfills. The Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CFWR) cooperative agreements, which are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, are part of USDA's broad support for urban agriculture through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP). The projects will be implemented between 2023 and 2025.
"These Compost and Food Waste Reduction projects play important roles in building resilient, local food systems, including strong food recovery networks and food waste reduction solutions that benefit farmers and communities," said Casey Shrader, Acting State Conservationist in Kentucky. "With an estimated 4% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions attributable to uneaten food, local strategies and tools like these are important climate solutions."
USDA prioritized projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts and collaborate with multiple partners.
Recipients include projects in 27 states and one territory. Recipients in Kentucky include:
Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District. The Louisville/Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District Composting Regional Pilot Program is a project that will create grade A compost that will be available to the region at no cost. Regionally produced compost will assist urban farmers and gardeners in growing nutrient rich food in an urban food desert, reduce need for imported fertilizers, save utility fleet gasoline by reducing the quantity of trips to regional landfill sites, reduce the cost of landfill disposal for utilities, and provide compost to community gardens which benefit residents who are disproportionally impoverished and lack access to healthy, fresh foods.
For a complete list of cooperative agreement recipients and project summaries, visit usda.gov/urban. These new agreements build on USDA's $3 million investment in 37 agreements in 2020 and 2021.
OUAIP was established through the 2018 Farm Bill. It is led by NRCS and works in partnership with numerous USDA agencies that support urban agriculture and innovative production. The CFWR cooperative agreements are part of a broad USDA investment in urban agriculture. Other efforts include:
Today's announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration's broader work to strengthen critical supply chains as directed by Executive Order 14017 America's Supply Chains.
Learn more at usda.gov/urban. For additional resources available to producers, download our Urban Agriculture at a Glance brochure or visit farmers.gov/urban.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.