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Home > Grants, Loans & Financing > Grant Opportunities > Specialty Crop Grants

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

In anticipation of funding, under the Farm Bill, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking grant applications from Minnesota organizations to “increase the competitiveness of our specialty crops” in domestic and foreign markets.

Specialty crops are defined in law as: fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. A more comprehensive list of eligible (and ineligible) crops is available. These funds may be used to further a specialty crop industry or segment; they will not be granted for the benefit of a single organization, institution, business or individual. Non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other agricultural groups are encouraged to apply.

MDA SCBG funding priorities:

  • Innovation in production, aggregation, processing, packaging
  • Improving operational efficiencies, reducing costs or other barriers, and increasing access to distribution systems and new markets for specialty crops
  • Increasing the demand-for and supply-of locally produced specialty crops
  • Pest and disease control, and varietal improvement
  • Practices that encourage conservation and environmental stewardship, including organic specialty crops research

Note:  MDA will consider any comments regarding SCBG funding priorities for future consideration 

How to Apply

Applications are due via MDA’s online application portal by 4:00 PM on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Application Forms and Guidance

Anticipated Timeline

  • Request for proposals released – February 2016
  • Applications due 4:00pm CST – April 29, 2016
  • Applications scored, selected and notified – April-May 2016
  • Minnesota State Plan submitted to USDA – June 2016
  • Anticipated USDA approval and approval letters to grantees – October 2016
  • Anticipated project start date – November-December 2016 Projects conclude no later than – June 30, 2019

MDA Contact

Julianne LaClair, Grants Specialist
651-201-6135, julianne.laclair@state.mn.us

Brian Erickson, Ag. Marketing Specialist, Sr.
651-201-6539, brian.j.erickson@state.mn.us

Ag Marketing & Development Division