A new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production grant has been made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The $3 million in grants will go toward support of the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects, according to the USDA.

“These grant opportunities underscore USDA’s commitment to all segments of agriculture, including swiftly expanding areas of urban agriculture,” Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said in a news release. “Such projects have the potential to address important issues such as food access and education and to support innovative ways to increase local food production in urban environments.”

For the Planning Projects grant, $1 million will be available to expand efforts for farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs with an emphasis on food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers and development of policies in relation to zoning and other urban production needs.

“We are proud to be able to offer support though this cross-agency effort,” said Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. “In creating this grant opportunity, USDA will build upon its years of experience providing technical support, grant funding and research to help farmers and local and urban food businesses grow.”

The other $2 million in grants from Implementation Projects are for those that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers, the USDA said.

A webinar on the news grants will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. June 3 and will provide an overview of the grants, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application.

Visit farmers.gov/urban for information on how to register for the webinar.

Applications for the grants are available at www.grants.gov, with a deadline of midnight July 6.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.