27 January 2022, US: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $72.9 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to fund innovative projects designed to support the expanding specialty crop sector and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products.
“These specialty crop block grants will help states and territories target resources locally to increase the competitiveness of the specialty crops sector and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. “Since 2006 when the program began, USDA has invested more than $953 million through these block grants to fund nearly 11,000 projects that increased the long-term success of producers and created new and better markets for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.”
“I was thrilled to welcome Under Secretary Moffitt to the ‘Apple Capital of the World’ to make this announcement about Specialty Crop Block Grants. The Block Grant program has been crucial to our state’s tree fruit industry,” said Rep. Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08). “Cutting edge research at Washington State University on sustainable growing practices benefits Washington state and the country. Because specialty crops represent such a large share of Washington state’s economy, I will continue to work with my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to ensure robust funding for these research grants every year.”
The SCBGP funds are allocated to U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers both specialty crop acreage and production value. Interested applicants should apply directly through their state departments of agriculture. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service manages this grant program and a listing of state contacts is available on its website.
AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and/or underserved communities. For grants intending to serve these audiences, applicants should engage and involve those beneficiaries when developing projects and applications.
Applications from the states and territories must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 3, 2022. Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy.