Kaptur introduces bipartisan Urban Agriculture Production Act
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), today introduced the Urban Agriculture Production Act (H.R. 3699), a bipartisan bill to bolster nutritional and farmers’ market programs and help create the next generation of local, urban farmers and food producers. The bill is supported by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Farmers Market Coalition.
“Too many urban neighborhoods are in food deserts that lack stores where people can purchase fresh, healthy foods, so the federal government needs to step up and improve access to nutritious foods,” said Kaptur. “Nutritious and healthy eating can reduce the rate of diabetes, hypertension and obesity related illnesses and my bill builds on successful nutritional programs, like the Seniors Farmers’ Market. As Congress readies to debate the Farm Bill, I’ll fight for programs that bolster farmers, develop our urban centers and help create jobs.”
The bill works to spur the development and expansion of regional and local food systems in nontraditional agriculture production areas, like cities and towns. The bill also works to strengthen farmers’ markets, improve nutrition for low-income seniors and veterans and bolster existing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs that support farmers, ranchers, and producers as a tool for economic development.
“Communities are addressing these challenges by developing local farmers markets, community gardens, greenhouses, and other food systems to provide fresh, affordable and healthy foods throughout underserved communities and this bill will build on that work,” Kaptur continued.
During her tenure in Congress, Kaptur has been a champion of farmers’ markets and other programs and one of the chief authors of urban agriculture legislation. Her legislative efforts have focused on creating places in urban areas to cultivate community agriculture that improve the self-sufficiency of neighborhoods.
Kaptur introduces the Urban Agriculture Production Act just as Congress prepares to debate the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization. Her key goals are to support direct marketing opportunities for local farmers and producers, advance local agriculture in our nation’s most underserved areas, and increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for our seniors and veterans.
What does the bill do?
- Establishes an Urban Agriculture Liaison and Outreach Program at USDA
- Expands the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to include veterans
- Provides for competitive grants to advance agriculture production in underserved, undernourished metropolitan areas
- Creates a loan and loan guarantee program for projects that expand and promote direct producer to consumer marketing and assist in the development of local food business enterprises.
- Improves federal agricultural reporting with the inclusion of Farmers Markets in the Ag. Census
You can read a summary of the bill here: KAPTUR Urban Ag Production Act Section by Section 9.5.17.pdf. And a copy of the bill here: Kaptur Urban Ag Bill TEXT 9.5.17.pdf.
Kaptur was joined by 11 original cosponsors Rep. John Conyers (MI-13), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC-AL), Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-02), Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) and Rep. Don Young (AK-AL).