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Grand Rapids and Detroit Urban Agriculture offices receiving new federal support

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its creating six new urban county committees in five states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working toward transforming the country’s food system. With a mission to strengthen the food supply chain, it includes an urban component. And that, says U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, makes the system more competitive and resilient.

“We are seeing in a lot of areas specialty work being done connected to restaurants where there will be various kinds of specialty herbs or specialty foods or vegetables that create a market.”

The Michigan Democrat and Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee visited the Kent County MSU Extension office in Grand Rapids explaining its an all of the above approach from neighborhood and veteran farmers to school districts farms and education programs.

Dr. Tim Boring is State Executive Director for the Michigan Farm Service Agency. He explains how the Grand Rapids Urban Agriculture office and its new county committee of farmers will inform and support a wide range urban farming in West Michigan.

“Co-ops coming together and providing local food for the community. There’s for-profit ventures. N.R.C.S. (National Resources Conservation Service) is leading efforts with the People’s Gardens. There’s increasing efforts going on with container gardens, hydroponics, rooftop gardening. And so, we’re really looking here to capture the full range of all that food production in urban areas.”

The U.S.D.A. will support efforts in conservation, loans and farm programming.