LAMP to Receive 5,000 in USDA Funding to Expand Agricultural Initiatives
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LAMP to Receive $145,000 in USDA Funding to Expand Agricultural Initiatives

LOWNDES CO – Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc. and 5 other grantees were selected to receive $145,000 each in USDA funding.

Release:

Throughout the past year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the University of Georgia (UGA) spoke with hundreds of community members at sessions across Georgia to determine how USDA grant funds of $1.5 million could be used to support agricultural and community garden production initiatives in Georgia.

During the listening sessions, UGA Archway Partnership was able to leverage its proven and nationally awarded community engagement model to conduct a statewide needs assessment of agriculture and community gardens. Archway and other UGA faculty, along with USDA staff, met with farmers and agricultural producers to understand their basic needs and determined that they would select six entities in Georgia to receive sub-award funding to create, expand, or improve large-scale gardens and agricultural opportunities in their communities.

On May 17, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Columbus, Georgia, to recognize the work of USDA and UGA and celebrate innovative work in agriculture across the state. Secretary Vilsack joined U.S. Representative Sanford D. Bishop (GA-02) on a tour of Turn Around Columbus and announced that the unit, along with six other units, will each receive $145,000 in funding through the USDA-UGA Archway Partnership.

USDA and UGA are pleased to announce that the following entities have been awarded one-time funding of $145,000 per entity: Change Church, Lowndes Associated Ministries to People Inc., Peachtree Farm, Rockdale County Administration, Southern Sky Center for Diverse Arts and Culture Inc., and Turn Around Columbus.

“This historic investment will create and enhance community gardens and improve food system needs across Georgia,” said Arthur Tripp, executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Georgia. “We are thrilled to announce six funding recipients who will make a difference in their communities by increasing access to healthy food and providing education on the importance of agriculture.”

USDA and UGA will host the following groundbreaking ceremonies to celebrate this historic investment:

Change Church:
When: Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 9:00 AM
Location: 3080 Premier Pkwy, Duluth, GA 300097

Rockdale County:
When: Thursday, July 18, 2024, 10:30 AM
Location: Wheeler Park, 1400 Parker Rd SE, Conyers, GA 30094

These events will bring together community leaders, USDA officials, and UGA representatives to share information about the project plans, including the project, timeline, and ways local community members can get involved and benefit from the project. Additional groundbreakings for additional beneficiaries will be scheduled at a later date. The groundbreaking events are free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should email [email protected] for more information or to RSVP.

This funding is part of USDA FSA’s $43.1 million investment in the American Rescue Plan Act for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. This effort supports USDA’s efforts to strengthen the food supply chain and transform the food system to be more equitable, competitive, and resilient. This investment will also help food-insecure communities and serve producers in areas where FSA has not historically had a presence.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend the groundbreaking ceremonies on July 17 and 18 should contact Haylie Haynes at (706) 552-2506.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming the U.S. food system by increasing its focus on more resilient local and regional food production; ensuring fairer markets for all producers; ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities; building new markets and revenue streams for farmers and producers who adopt climate-smart food and forestry practices; making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and opportunities in rural America; and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a more American workforce. To learn more, visit usda.gov.