2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Announced

Friday, March 17, 2017 | 2:40pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

TDA Assistant Commissioner for Market Development Ed Harlan advises eligible individuals and organizations to submit proposals using the 2017 project template. The template and information required to apply are available at www.tn.gov/agriculture/topic/ag-businesses-specialty-crop.

Proposals are due by April 21 and should be submitted by email. Early submission is encouraged.

“Funds from specialty crop block grants provide the opportunity to conduct research, expand markets, provide education and promote the specialty crop industry,” Harlan said.

Proposals are reviewed and ranked according to criteria provided on the website. Applicants will be notified by June 7, 2017 whether TDA intends to present their projects to the USDA. First-time recipients have a funding limit of $25,000.

The USDA grants are authorized through the federal Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 and are administered by TDA. The SCBG funds are granted to enhance production and competitiveness of specialty crops, including fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, floriculture and other nursery crops.

Universities, institutions, cooperatives, producers, and industry or community-based organizations may submit a proposal for funding. The program aims to support projects that directly affect multiple Tennessee producers and have a positive, long-lasting impact on Tennessee agriculture.

For more information about the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, email tn.scbg@tn.gov.