[USC02] 7 USC 6923: Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production
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7 USC 6923: Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Text contains those laws in effect on September 15, 2019
From Title 7-AGRICULTURECHAPTER 98-DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REORGANIZATIONSUBCHAPTER I-GENERAL REORGANIZATION AUTHORITIES
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§6923. Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

(a) Office

(1) In general

The Secretary shall establish in the Department an Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.

(2) Director

The Secretary shall appoint a senior official to serve as the Director of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (referred to in this section as the "Director").

(3) Mission

The mission of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production shall be to encourage and promote urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural practices, including-

(A) community gardens and farms located in urban areas, suburbs, and urban clusters;

(B) rooftop farms, outdoor vertical production, and green walls;

(C) indoor farms, greenhouses, and high-tech vertical technology farms;

(D) hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic farm facilities; and

(E) other innovations in agricultural production, as determined by the Secretary.

(4) Responsibilities

The Director shall be responsible for engaging in activities to carry out the mission described in paragraph (3), including by-

(A) managing programs, including for community gardens, urban farms, rooftop agriculture, and indoor vertical production;

(B) advising the Secretary;

(C) coordinating with the agencies and officials of the Department to update relevant programs;

(D) engaging in stakeholder relations and developing external partnerships;

(E) identifying common State and municipal best practices for navigating local policies;

(F) coordinating networks of community gardens and facilitating connections to local food banks, in partnership with the Food and Nutrition Service; and

(G) collaborating with other Federal agencies.

(b) Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall establish an Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee (referred to in this subsection as the "Committee") to advise the Secretary on-

(A) the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices; and

(B) any other aspects of the implementation of this section.

(2) Membership

(A) In general

The Committee shall be composed of 12 members, of whom-

(i) 4 shall be individuals who are agricultural producers, of whom-

(I) 2 individuals shall be agricultural producers located in an urban area or urban cluster; and

(II) 2 individuals shall be farmers that use innovative technology;


(ii) 2 shall be representatives from an institution of higher education or extension program;

(iii) 1 shall be an individual who represents a nonprofit organization, which may include a public health, environmental, or community organization;

(iv) 1 shall be an individual who represents business and economic development, which may include a business development entity, a chamber of commerce, a city government, or a planning organization;

(v) 1 shall be an individual with supply chain experience, which may include a food aggregator, wholesale food distributor, food hub, or an individual who has direct-to-consumer market experience;

(vi) 1 shall be an individual from a financing entity; and

(vii) 2 shall be individuals with related experience or expertise in urban, indoor, and other emerging agriculture production practices, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Initial appointments

The Secretary shall appoint the members of the Committee not later than 180 days after December 20, 2018.

(3) Period of appointment; vacancies

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a member of the Committee shall be appointed for a term of 3 years.

(B) Initial appointments

Of the members first appointed to the Committee-

(i) 4 of the members, as determined by the Secretary, shall be appointed for a term of 3 years;

(ii) 4 of the members, as determined by the Secretary, shall be appointed for a term of 2 years; and

(iii) 4 of the members, as determined by the Secretary, shall be appointed for a term of 1 year.

(C) Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Committee-

(i) shall not affect the powers of the Committee; and

(ii) shall be filled as soon as practicable in the same manner as the original appointment.

(D) Consecutive terms

An initial appointee of the committee may serve an additional consecutive term if the member is reappointed by the Secretary.

(4) Meetings

(A) Frequency

The Committee shall meet not fewer than 3 times per year.

(B) Initial meeting

Not later than 180 days after the date on which the members are appointed under paragraph (2)(B), the Committee shall hold the first meeting of the Committee.

(5) Duties

(A) In general

The Committee shall-

(i) develop recommendations and advise the Director on policies, initiatives, and outreach administered by the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production;

(ii) evaluate and review ongoing research and extension activities relating to urban, indoor, and other innovative agricultural practices;

(iii) identify new and existing barriers to successful urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices; and

(iv) provide additional assistance and advice to the Director as appropriate.

(B) Reports

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the Committee is established, and every 2 years through 2023, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary, the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing the recommendations developed under subparagraph (A).

(6) Personnel matters

(A) Compensation

A member of the Committee shall serve without compensation.

(B) Travel expenses

A member of the Committee shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with section 5703 of title 5.

(7) Termination

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the Committee shall terminate on the date that is 5 years after the date on which the members are appointed under paragraph (2)(B).

(B) Extensions

Before the date on which the Committee terminates, the Secretary may renew the Committee for 1 or more 2-year periods.

(c) Grants

The Director shall award competitive grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production to any of the following eligible entities:

(1) A nonprofit organization.

(2) A unit of local government.

(3) A Tribal government.

(4) Any school that serves any of grades kindergarten through grade 12.

(d) Pilot projects

(1) Urban and suburban county committees

(A) In general

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall establish a pilot program for not fewer than 5 years that establishes 10 county committees in accordance with section 590h(b)(5)(B)(ii)(II) of title 16 to operate in counties located in urban or suburban areas with a high concentration of urban or suburban farms.

(B) Effect

Nothing in this paragraph requires or precludes the establishment of a Farm Service Agency office in a county in which a county committee is established under subparagraph (A).

(C) Report

For fiscal year 2019 and each fiscal year thereafter through fiscal year 2023, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing a summary of-

(i) the status of the pilot program under subparagraph (A);

(ii) meetings and other activities of the committees established under that subparagraph; and

(iii) the types and volume of assistance and services provided to farmers in counties in which county committees are established under that subparagraph.

(2) Increasing community compost and reducing food waste

(A) In general

The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall carry out pilot projects under which the Secretary shall offer to enter into cooperative agreements with local or municipal governments in not fewer than 10 States to develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans.

(B) Eligible entities and purposes of pilot projects

Under a cooperative agreement entered into under this paragraph, the Secretary shall provide assistance to municipalities, counties, local governments, or city planners, as appropriate, to carry out planning and implementing activities that will-

(i) generate compost;

(ii) increase access to compost for agricultural producers;

(iii) reduce reliance on, and limit the use of, fertilizer;

(iv) improve soil quality;

(v) encourage waste management and permaculture business development;

(vi) increase rainwater absorption;

(vii) reduce municipal food waste; and

(viii) divert food waste from landfills.

(C) Evaluation and ranking of applications

(i) Criteria

Not later than 180 days after December 20, 2018, the Secretary shall establish criteria for the selection of pilot projects under this paragraph.

(ii) Consideration

In selecting, undertaking, or funding pilot projects under this paragraph, the Secretary shall consider any commonly known significant impact on existing food waste recovery and disposal by commercial, marketing, or business relationships.

(iii) Priority

In selecting a pilot project under this paragraph, the Secretary shall give priority to an application for a pilot project that-

(I) anticipates or demonstrates economic benefits;

(II) incorporates plans to make compost easily accessible to agricultural producers, including community gardeners;

(III) integrates other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts; and

(IV) provides for collaboration with multiple partners.

(D) Matching requirement

The recipient of assistance for a pilot project under this paragraph shall provide funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both from sources other than funds provided through the grant in an amount equal to not less than 25 percent of the amount of the grant.

(E) Evaluation

The Secretary shall conduct an evaluation of the pilot projects funded under this paragraph to assess different solutions for increasing access to compost and reducing municipal food waste, including an evaluation of-

(i) the amount of Federal funds used for each project; and

(ii) a measurement of the outcomes of each project.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section and the amendments made by this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §222, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12302, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4958 .)