Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Maryland Department of Agriculture

Sector: Food and AgricultureWater and Sanitation
Last date: Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Country: United States

Detailed Description

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to enhance the competitiveness of Maryland specialty crops including fruits and vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, honey, hops, grapes, maple syrup, Christmas trees and nursery crops.

Funding is provided to state departments of agriculture from the Farm Bill through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. The SCBGP allocation formula is the average of the most recent available value of specialty crop cash receipts in the State and the acreage of specialty crop production in the State.

Funding Priorities

Grant applications that focus on one of the areas below will be given priority based on the 2021 Maryland Specialty Crop Block Grant survey.

  • Food Safety Compliance: Proposed projects should meet specialty crop buyer requirements for mitigating food safety risks.
  • Market Enhancement: Proposed projects should increase sales product and market share of Maryland specialty crops by leveraging the Maryland’s Best brand through cooperative promotion and partnerships for restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, and other businesses.
  • Research: Proposed projects should improve the competitiveness of Maryland specialty crops through research projects such as pest control and disease, soil quality, water efficiency, cleaningsanitation, water quality for crops or prepost-harvest handling, manure or composting as it relates to Food Safety Modernization Act.

Funding Information

  • MDA will receive $416,000 in SCBGP funds. Selected applications will be included into the Maryland State Plan and submitted to the USDA for final approval.
  • Competitive grants will be awarded for projects with a minimum of $15,000. The Maryland SCBGP grants have ranged from $15,000 – $140,000. SCBGP grant funds will be awarded for projects up to 2 years in duration and must conclude by November 30, 2024.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must have the support of a specific specialty crop organization or group with at least three specialty crop producers. Proposals submitted by individual producers must demonstrate that the potential impact of the project will be for a broader group of similar producers or industry segment. Projects must also be identified as a priority of the industry.
  • Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations involved in Maryland agriculture. Applicants must reside in Maryland or their business or educational affiliation must be in Maryland. Those applicants that are non-profit or for-profit, if awarded a grant, will be required to provide verification of their status. Applicants may cooperate with any public or private organization.

Source:https://mda.maryland.gov/maryland_products/Pages/Specialty-Crop-Block-Grant-Program.aspx

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