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

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

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 by the USDA 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. Non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other agricultural groups are encouraged to apply. For-profit entities and businesses are not ineligible, but these are not business development funds; they are for sector-wide research and development projects.

MDA Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) funding priorities:

  • Innovation in production, aggregation, processing, packaging
  • Improving operational efficiency, 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
  • Research on practices that encourage conservation, environmental stewardship, and production (including organic)

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 Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Application Forms and Guidance

Anticipated Timeline

  • Request for proposals released – February 2017
  • Applications due 4:00pm CST – April 27, 2017
  • Applications scored, selected and notified – May 2017
  • Minnesota State Plan submitted to USDA – June 2017
  • Anticipated USDA approval and grantee notification of award – October 2017
  • Anticipated project start date – November-December 2017 Projects conclude no later than September 29, 2020

MDA Contact

Ann Kuzj, Grants Specialist
ann.kuzj@state.mn.us, 651-201-6028

Ag Marketing & Development Division