Organizations that benefit Minnesota fruit, vegetable, and other specialty crop producers can apply for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grants through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) by 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Eligible projects must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Minnesota by:
- Leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
- Assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
- Expanding availability and access to specialty crops; or
- Addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.
Roughly $1.3 million is available in total, with grants awarded for amounts between $10,000 and $100,000 per project. Funded projects can begin as of November 1, 2020 and have a lifespan of up to 2.5 years.
Nonprofit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other agricultural groups can apply, as well as for-profit entities, farms and other businesses who aim to enhance sector wide competitiveness of specialty crops through research, education or marketing projects.
The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops, floriculture, and processed products with 50 percent or more specialty crop content by weight.
Additional information, including the Request for Proposal, funding priorities, questions and answers, previously funded project summaries, and link to our online application can be accessed from the Specialty Crop Grant website.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications