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Specialty crops grant webinar set Dec. 16

By Staff | Dec 10, 2010

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey Monday encouraged any Iowans interested in applying for a U.S. Department of Ariculture specialty crop block grant, through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, to consider participating in a free webinar at 1 p.m. on Thursday.

More information about the grant program and the webinar, including registration information visit www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgp.

“This webinar is designed to help educate interested parties about the block grant and give direction on applying for funding,” Northey said. “The grant program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and this webinar will help those interested in applying to prepare their applications for the next round of grant announcements next year.”

The specialty crop block grant program was created to make specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture, more competitive.

Projects funded in the past by the program have focused on marketing and promotion, education, production, research, food safety and pest and plant health.

IDALS will receive $276,310 each year through 2012 from the block grant program and then makes grants available to Iowa agricultural non-profit organizations, cooperatives, specialty crop industry associations or organizations and producer groups.

Each group is eligible to apply for up to $24,000.

Grant funds can only be used for projects that benefit and enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops industry as a whole, and will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual.

Iowans interested in learning more about the program can e-mail paul.ovrom@iowaagriculture.gov.

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