The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has extended the application deadline for the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) as a result of the addition of federal COVID-19 relief funds to the program.
The MDA expects to award a total of roughly $2.9 million in funding for the grant program, including about $1.65 million in one-time funding for COVID-19 relief.
As a result, the application deadline has been extended to March 16, 2021, and the maximum amount applicants may request has been increased to $150,000 from $100,000. The minimum amount remains $20,000.
The grant program aims to boost the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Minnesota through marketing and promotion, research and development, expanding availability and access, and addressing challenges confronting producers.
The eligibility criteria are expected to remain the same for both sources of funding. However, priority for COVID-19 relief funding is expected to be granted to projects designed to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic on specialty crop producers, industries, and the food supply chain.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications