The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is pleased to announce the competitive solicitation process to award the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects that “enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.” Specialty crops are defined as: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops, including floriculture. Please see the specific listing of all eligible crops at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgp.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will make grant funding available, with Georgia’s share being approximately $1 million this year.
“The goal of this grant program is to help fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Georgia’s specialty crop producers, in relation to each dollar spent,” said Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We encourage organizations such as IRS-designated non-profits, commodity commissions, associations, state and local government entities and colleges and universities to consider applying.”
Note that USDA-AMS rules state that grant funds will NOT be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners with eligible entities.
“Concept Proposals will be accepted for review until February 24 and by March 3, those who have the strongest Concept Proposals will be invited to submit a full application. Once finalized, each application will be carefully reviewed and evaluated by a Review Committee sometime in June,” said Jeanne Maxwell, director of grants for GDA. “Then, all Department-approved projects will be combined and written as one grant submission to the USDA/AMS. Upon approval from USDA, we will notify applicants of their status, which we expect to be in October 2017.”
Please refer to the links available on the GDA grants webpage located at www.agr.georgia.gov/grants.aspx for the Concept Proposal/pre-application form and additional information. For additional questions please contact Jen Erdmann at Jen.Erdmann@agr.georgia.gov or 404-586-1151.