State receives more than $22 million in federal grant funds from Farm Bill
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced funding for the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). California received more than $22.3 million out of approximately $62.6 million awarded nationwide.
The SCBGP provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).
“This is essential funding that the USDA provides each year through the Farm Bill,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Grant recipients help all Californians through a wide variety of activities that provide numerous examples of how the Farm Bill’s reach extends far beyond agriculture.”
CDFA is continuing its partnership with the Center for Produce Safety through the evaluation and recommendation of food safety related projects. These projects represent an ongoing effort to address food safety practices and minimize outbreaks of foodborne illness with proactive research.
Additionally, CDFA is introducing fixed amount awards to fund projects addressing two urgent priorities in specialty crop agriculture: helping farmers meet Food Safety Modernization Act standards; and helping them adapt to California’s historic drought with methods that reduce water use or improve efficiency.