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IDALS: Specialty crops block grant deadline May 2

By Staff | Apr 5, 2016

DES MOINES (IDALS) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced March 18 that the deadline to apply for grant funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program is May 2.

The grants are available to support projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which administers the program, has reported that Iowa will receive $244,000 in funding this year.

“The Specialty Crop Block Grant funds can support food safety, research and marketing efforts that will encourage Iowans to choose the products that are produced in our state,” Northey said. “Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products.”

Grant funds shall be used for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops that benefit the specialty crop 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.

Iowa agencies, universities, institutions, and producer, industry and community-based organizations are all eligible to apply for funding to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

In addition, single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Grant awards will be considered up to a maximum of $24,000 and projects can have a duration of up to 30 months.

Eligible specialty crops include fruit and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.

Both fresh and processed specialty crops are eligible.

Proposals must be received by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on or before 4 p.m. on May 2.

For more information visit the IDALS Specialty Crop Block Grant program at: www.IowaAgriculture.gov/Horticulture-and-FarmersMarkets/specialtyCropGrant.asp.

Comments received by May 2 will be presented to the review committee to assist in prioritizing projects.

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