The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) wants to remind producers that the grant application deadline for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets is April 18th. These block grants, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are for specialty crops like fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. The specialty crops block grant is a competitive grant process with the maximum award to any applicant being $25,000 and the minimum, $5,000.
Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are all eligible for this grant program, provided their proposals meet all the program specifications. ADAI and a review committee of industry representatives will make application evaluation reviews and award recommendations to USDA. USDA has final approval for projects submitted.
In a release, Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate said, “Specialty crops play a significant role in Alabama Agriculture as they meet marketplace demand for locally grown products. The department looks forward to implementing the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and anticipates continued success.”
Projects cannot begin until official agreements are signed, which is expected October 2019. For more information, please visit http://www.agi.alabama.gov/scbgp or contact Johnny Blackmon at 334/240-7257.