Farm bill hearing discusses horticulture and urban ag needs

USDA officials are highlighting the importance of farm bill funding to help build a more resilient food system.

Under Secretary Jennifer Lester Moffitt testified on ways the USDA is supporting specialty crop supply chains during Tuesday’s House Ag subcommittee’s hearing on horticulture and urban agriculture in the farm bill.

“It’s building more community capacity for producers to be able to supply local and regional markets, it’s building the community networks, it’s building the infrastructure so we’re working on relieving pressure points along the food supply chain,” she says.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby says feedback from the urban ag community along with pilot offices in urban centers will be critical in this farm bill as the agency works to better represent their needs.

“There’s a lot of help needed in the urban sector, from access to land to understanding how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables,” he says.

He reiterated USDA’s commitment to supporting urban ag and says the agency believes it plays an important role in addressing food insecurities, climate change, and equity.

The USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is housed within NRCS.

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