Senator Stabenow Announces New Federal Funding to Help Expand Detroit’s Urban Agriculture Efforts

Monday, October 26, 2015

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visited Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men to highlight National Farm to School month and announce new funding to bolster local food production.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today visited Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men to highlight National Farm to School month and announce new federal funding headed to Detroit to help bolster local food production.

"Detroit continues to be a national leader in efforts to expand urban agriculture," Stabenow said. "From students at Fredrick Douglass growing fresh produce for their school meals to job training by groups like Greening of Detroit, the City is showcasing the great work being done across Michigan. Urban agriculture is an exciting way to bring a new generation into farming which is one important reason I made this a priority in the Farm Bill."

At Fredrick Douglass, Stabenow announced $4,000 in new funding from the United States Department of Agriculture that will lead to expanded opportunities for students. Currently, students are growing produce that can be used in the school cafeteria but are limited by the short growing seasons. This funding will help expand those opportunities to ensure students can grow fresh food year round. Additionally, Fredrick Douglass students use their school garden as a living classroom to learn how to market and sell produce at local farmers markets, developing skills that will prepare them for new jobs after graduation.

Stabenow also highlighted an additional $100,000 in new federal funding for Greening of Detroit who will partner with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network to help train young adults in Wayne County interested in farming and entering the growing farm-to-fork restaurant scene in Detroit.

As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Stabenow authored the 2014 Farm Bill which makes historic investments in local food initiatives including support for organics, farmers markets, urban and school gardens, local food hubs, and new support for fruit and vegetable growers.