The decisions are made by those who show up…

Greetings NICH Supporters,

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has asked for stakeholder input for the Urban, Indoor and Other Emerging Agricultural Production Research, Education, and Extension Initiative.  This is a GREAT opportunity to influence USDA NIFA’s prioritization and funding processes. We need to speak up by June 22, 2020. 

An ad hoc committee of NICH members has crafted the paragraphs below to assist you with comments that support the work of NICH and other like-minded organizations.  Please include them in your comments.
As supporters of the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture we urge you to provide greater funding for competitive grants that build strong, local, community-based agricultural systems in diverse cities and neighborhoods across the United States.  This includes private, community, school, public gardens and gardening education (provided by educators and nonprofits) which are often considered the purview of consumer horticulture.  We urge you to consider generous support for research, extension and education that support business entrepreneurship in community supported agriculture, particularly in underrepresented and underserved areas where these businesses can fill the gaps in food networks.

With regards to the first question (which phase has the greatest and most urgent research, extension and education needs in developing urban agriculture) we feel (a) agricultural production (especially as it pertains to the urban environment),  (c) transportation and (g) markets have the greatest and most urgent research, extension and education needs.

Our highest priority for the most urgent research and extension need is (c) identifying and promoting the horticultural, social and economic factors that contribute to successful urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production. We also feel that (g) developing new crop varieties and agricultural products to connect to new markets is a priority.
We encourage you to add your comments to these above today. The solicitation for comments is here and the comments should be submitted at:

https://beta.regulations.gov/document/NIFA_FRDOC_0001-0145.

Click on the blue button and submit your comments.  Comments can be addressed to Deputy Secretary Censky.

This is a good opportunity to influence the Research, Extension and Education agenda of NIFA.  Please send input and pass this on to others who share our values and intentions.

Thank you,


Chair,
National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture