Applications are currently being accepted by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Funds are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture and are allocated to the state to be awarded through a competitive grant process.
Projects must solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S.-grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets and must provide a benefit to more than just the applicant. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.
“The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program benefits Idaho’s specialty crop industry by funding projects for research, marketing, and education, addressing key priorities in the specialty crop industry,” ISDA Director Celia Gould said. “This is our sixth year of providing competitive grants, and we look forward to being able to provide funding for another year of innovative projects that grow Idaho’s specialty crop industry and economy.”
Funds will be available to interested local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and universities. Projects may include, but are not limited to, pest and disease control, enhancing food safety, developing new and improved seed varieties, increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops, market development, or developing good agricultural, handling, or manufacturing practices.
Projects will be evaluated on how well they enhance the competitiveness of Idaho’s specialty crops, soundness and quality of the project plan, measurable outcomes, and return on investment.
Applications are due to ISDA by Friday, April 11, 2014. Application guidelines are available at www.agri.idaho.gov under Marketing and Development, Specialty Crop Grant. An informative PowerPoint presentation regarding the application process is also available for download from the website.
If you have questions about the program, please contact Amanda Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-332-8538.