COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering millions of dollars in grant funding for urban agriculture projects.

What You Need To Know

  • The USDA's urban agriculture grant application period is open until April 9
  • Since 2020, at least five projects in Ohio were awarded grant funding
  • Each week, Spectrum News 1 anchor Chuck Ringwalt and agriculture expert Andy Vance discuss an aspect of the state's agricultural landscape

According to the USDA, “Urban agriculture includes the cultivation, processing and distribution of agricultural products in urban and suburban areas.”

The government lists community gardens, rooftop farms, hydroponic, aeroponic and aquaponic facilities and vertical production as examples of urban agriculture.

“This grant program has proven very popular and impactful in recent years, and we look forward to partnering with more communities nationwide to strengthen local food systems and increase access to healthy foods,” Terry Cosby said in a March 19 USDA release.

Cosby is the Chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The NRCS leads the USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.

“These projects will add to the important work communities are doing to build food security in underserved areas,” he said.

According to USDA data, many Ohio projects received funding over the last few years.

Last year, the Teen Start Program at Village Family Farms in Cleveland was awarded $300,000 to further its mission of providing food to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

“As time goes on and we further develop the technologies and we learn more about how we can grow, plant and increase efficiencies and productivity in smaller areas, the sky is the limit,” Agriculture Expert Andy Vance said.

If you have an idea for the Ag Report, a question for Chuck and Andy or you’d like to send a photo of your farm and the work you do, send an email to You can also follow Chuck on Facebook.