AR Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Arkansas Agriculture Department

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $70,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 13, 2019

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Arkansas

Location of residency: Arkansas

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AR Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

These grants help to enhance the specialty crop industry of Arkansas, which includes the growing and selling of fruits, vegetables, floriculture and nuts. 

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is authorized under section 101 of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note) and amended under section 10010 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79 (the Farm Bill). SCBGP is currently implemented under 7 CFR part 1291 (published March 27, 2009; 74 FR 13313). 

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) assists State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in solely enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. grown specialty crops. Specialty crops are fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). 

Eligible Projects

Each project must solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S. or U.S. territory-grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets. See the SCBGP website for a definition of specialty crops and processed products, including examples of eligible specialty crops and ineligible commodities.

AAD encourages applicants to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting specialty crop competitiveness: 

  • Establishing crop -specific specialty crop grower/producer associations.
  • Establishing a partnership to establish an in-state Accredited Certifying Agent for organic specialty crops.
  • Pollinator health.
  • Innovative crops, practices, or food products that have the potential to make significant economic contributions. 

Other eligible project can address:

  • Enhancing food safety.
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example, by developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling  Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors.
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes.
  • Developing adaptation and mitigation strategies for farmers in drought-stricken regions of the country.
  • Supporting the growth of organic specialty crops.
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops.
  • Pest and disease control.
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops.
  • Increasing opportunities for new and beginning farmers.
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems.
  • Protecting and improving pollinator health.
  • Developing local and regional food systems.
  • Improving food access in underserved communities and among veterans.

Minimum and Maximize Project Values:

AAD will not consider project proposals that have a value of less than $5,000. Please note indirect cost may be requested, up 4% of the project’s direct cost. Indirect costs do not have to be requested.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Project proposals are encouraged from state and local organizations, academia, producer associations, industry or community-based groups, and other specialty crop organizations.
  • Applicants may submit more than one proposal. If more than one proposal is submitted, please indicate the priority level of each submission. 
  • Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. 


  • Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.
  • In addition, recipients and subrecipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services. 
  • Projects where one organization specifically attempts to disparage the mission, goals, and/or actions of another organization are unallowable. 
  • Examples of Unacceptable Projects:
    • A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop to make a profit, or to expand production of a single business or organization. 
    • A State requests grant funds to make grants to individual specialty crop businesses or roadside stands to promote their individual business. 
    • A non-profit organization uses grant funds to purchase produce and then sells that produce to other entities at cost or a higher price than the purchase price while competing with other private companies who sell produce in the area. 
    • A sole proprietor requests grant funds to redesign her/his logo in order to make her/his specialty crop value-added product stand out at the local farmers’ market. 
    • A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership.