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USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Applications Being Accepted in Alabama

Dan Alabama, Economy, Specialty Crops, USDA

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The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) has announced they are accepting grant applications for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets in the state. The application deadline for these grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is May 3, 2021.

Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture (including maple syrup and honey) and nursery crops (including floriculture).

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, but USDA has final approval for projects submitted.

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The specialty crops block grant is a competitive grant process, with the minimum amount awarded being $5,000. The maximum award to commodity groups, agriculture organizations, municipalities and agriculture nonprofits applicants is $25,000, and the maximum amount for colleges and universities is $40,000.

For those interested in applying, a conference call will be held on April 1, 2021, regarding the writing, processing, and submittal of the specialty crop block grant. Please contact Johnny Blackmon at 334-240-7257 or email johnny.blackmon@agi.alabama.gov, to RSVP and obtain the conference connection code.

Additional information may be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp.

Projects cannot begin until official agreements are signed, which is expected October 2021.