USDA FSA Urban Agriculture Cooperative Agreement

A $1.5M cooperative agreement is supporting utilization of USDA programs among farmers historically underserved or discriminated against by the agency.

Project partners:

   June 2023 – June 2026

Aerial view of friends gathered to harvest radishes at black futures farm in Portland, OR. Photo credit: Robert Cuadra

In partnership with Ecotrust, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is launching a new urban agriculture center for the Portland region to support urban agriculture efforts of historically underserved farmers.

Producers need targeted, focused, and intentional outreach, education, and support, including community-led, community-centered, and culturally appropriate solutions that will support their involvement and engagement in Farm Service Agency (FSA) and other USDA programs and services, as well as meet their unique needs for growth. As we work collaboratively over the next three years, Ecotrust commits itself to build the capacity of the Oregon’s FSA to serve producers inclusively by conducting outreach, distributing $150,000 in microgrants, providing direct technical assistance and facilitating on-farm engagements while building awareness of USDA programs.These efforts are intended to result in a greater number of underserved producers utilizing federal programs that support conservation practices, land access, and operations expansion.

This work is grounded in strong partnerships between Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University Center for Small Farms, Oregon Metro, and Multnomah County Health Department’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program that works to ensure the agency delivers equitable service to all.

The 2024 microgrant applications are currently paused until further notice. Please check back later.

Community partners talk about growth cycles with farmer Michelle Week, founder of Good Rain Farm, at the Headwaters Incubator Program in Gresham, OR. Photo credit: Kari Rowe

Sabrina Cerquera, Program Manager of Food Systems Equity, and Aaron Vargas, former Ecotrust staff. Photo credit: Kari Rowe


Project Partners

is a collaboration hub for Black and Brown communities that exists to ignite BIPOC communities to participate as owners and movement leaders within food systems, placemaking, and economic development.

equitably serves all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans.

serves the changing needs of Oregon’s diverse agricultural and food sectors to maintain and enhance a healthy natural resource base and strong economy in rural and urban communities across the state.

advances sustainable agriculture, resilient community food systems, and the long-term viability of Oregon’s small and mid-scale farmers and ranchers.

is the nation’s first directly elected regional government and serves more than 1.7 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties whose boundary encompasses Portland and 23 other cities region wide.

works to develop and implement local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health disparities among the Black/African immigrant and refugee communities throughout Oregon.

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Farm Service Agency engages in the following types of cooperative agreements: …


Blog post

A $1.5M cooperative agreement will support utilization of USDA programs among farmers historically underserved or discriminated against by the agency. Ecotrust is among the organizations who will be leading this work in the Portland Metro region. 


Press release

August 7, 2023 | A $1.5M cooperative agreement will support utilization of USDA programs among farmers historically underserved or discriminated against by the agency

press release


July 25, 2023 | Portland will be home to one of 17 new urban agriculture centers nationwide with a $1.5 million investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

press release


July 24, 2023 | Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Andrea Salinas (OR-6), and Sens. Ron Wyden (OR) and Jeff Merkley (OR) applaud the Biden-Harris administration’s nearly $1.5 million investment in a new Urban Service Center to help urban farmers and strengthen local food systems in the Pacific Northwest.

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