Bipartisan urban ag bill intended to spur economy

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WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur introduced the Urban Agriculture Production Act Sept. 8, 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.

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 USDA programs that support farmers, ranchers, and producers as a tool for economic development.

The bill will:

• Establish an Urban Agriculture Liaison and Outreach Program at USDA.

• Expand the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program to include veterans.

• Provide for competitive grants to advance agriculture production in underserved, undernourished metropolitan areas.

• Create 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.

• Improve federal agricultural reporting with the inclusion of Farmers Markets in the Agriculture Census.

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