The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has awarded nearly $1.1 million to 14 projects through the state’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Projects will help improve the competitiveness of Minnesota’s specialty crops through research, education and market development.
Projects range from assessing the economic impact of growing local cut flowers along the North Shore of Lake Superior to implementing marketing strategies for Minnesota grown seed potatoes. Each project will benefit Minnesota’s agricultural sector by helping specialty crop growers find ways to compete in today’s marketplace.
“Specialty Crop Block Grants are a great way for organizations to explore new varieties, investigate pests, and develop food safety programs to increase the demand for specialty crops produced by Minnesota’s growers,” said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “The variety of crops represented by this year’s awardees and the types of projects they’re pursuing will benefit many different specialty crop segments throughout the state.”
Awardees include the Cook County Community Center/Extension, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minnesota Certified Seed Potato Growers Association, Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Minnesota Grown Promotion Group, Renewing the Countryside, the Sustainable Farming Association, The Good Acre, and the University of Minnesota. For more information about these projects, visit the Specialty Crop Grant Awardees webpage.
The next round of Specialty Crop Block Grants is expected to open in late January. Grant applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. CST on March 15, 2018. For more information, visit the Specialty Crop Block Grant webpage.
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications