Funding Available to Support Specialty Crop Production

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Industry

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for multiple programs designed to aid in specialty crop production. Proposals are currently being accepted for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). In addition, applications are being accepted for 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Technical Review Committee (TRC) members. Proposals for the 2021 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP) are also being accepted.

specialty crop

Grant awards for the SCBGP will range from $100,000 to $500,000 per project. Organizations, academic institutions, local, state, federal, and Tribal government entities are all eligible to apply. Projects accepted through the program can last for up to two years and six months. Specialty crops covered under the program include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. Concept proposals will need to be submitted electronically using the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool by Friday, October 8.

The TRC is responsible for reviewing and evaluating proposals that are submitted for the SCBGP. Comprised of specialty crop industry expert volunteers, the committee provides recommendations on funding proposals to CDFA. Those interested in serving on the committee have until Monday, October 4 to submit a completed application form.

The SCMP offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is designed to strengthen the competitiveness of specialty crops. Grant awards for the program can range between $250,000 to $1 million per project and can last for up to three years. Acceptable projects include those that address issues such as food safety, pest and disease problems, and other crop-specific concerns. Eligibility for the grant funding includes state agencies, Tribal governments, universities, non-profits, as well as industry stakeholder groups and organizations. Applications for the program are available from USDA-AMS. The deadline to submit an application to CDFA is Thursday, November 4. Participating states will have until December 6 to submit an application to AMS.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West