Connecticut Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Connecticut Department of Agriculture

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Grant amount: Up to US $100,000

Deadline: Apr 23, 2020 1:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Organizations

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

Location of project: Connecticut

Location of residency: Connecticut

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About this funder:



The Connecticut Department of Agriculture solicits concept proposals on an annual basis for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, maple syrup, honey, horticulture, and nursery crops.

Projects must impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public. The maximum award is $100,000. There is no match requirement.  

2020 Program Information

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is seeking applications for projects that impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public. Projects cannot begin until after January 1, 2021, and must be completed by March 1, 2023. The maximum award is $75,000.

Funding priorities for 2020 are as follows: 

  • Strengthening and improving food systems 
  • CT Grown value‐added processing for expanded availability of CT Grown foods year‐round  
  • Improving food security through new technologies and/or delivery methods 
  • Assisting farmers with meeting existing and emerging food safety requirements 
  • Preparing for and adapting to climate change to strengthen Connecticut food production 
  • Research and development on controlled environment agriculture production systems 

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


  • Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies, and agricultural nonprofits are all eligible for this grant program. 
    • Single organizations, institutions, and individuals/producers are encouraged to participate as project partners.
  • Projects are required to impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution or individual.
  • Acceptable projects; based upon information provided by the USDA:
    • A State requests funding to contract with a university to conduct research on the feasibility of planting, cultivating, and growing a specialty crop in a particular area, the results of which can be shared with many growers throughout the State. 
    • A single grower requests funds to demonstrate the viability of organic small fruit production and partners with Cooperative Extension to publicize the working model of diversification to other regional growers.
    • A single company requests funds to provide a viable pollination alternative to specialty crop stakeholders in the region, which currently does not have one. 
    • A single specialty crop organization requests funds to conduct an advertising campaign that will benefit their specialty crop members.
    • SeeAllowable And Unallowable Costs And Activities here.


  • Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.
  • Unacceptable projects; based upon information provided by the USDA:
    • A company applied for funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop for the purpose of making a profit, or to expand production of a single business. 
    • A proposal for funds from a specialty crop organization to promote their members’ businesses. 
    • A sole proprietor request grant funds to redesign his/her logo in order to make her/his specialty crop value-added product stand out at the local farmers’ market.
  • Grant funds may not be used to fund political activities in accordance with provisions of the Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. 1501-1508 and 7321-7326).
  • Development or participation in lobbying activities pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 1352 including costs of membership in organizations substantially engaged in lobbying are unallowable.
  • Capital expenditures for general purpose equipment, buildings, and land are unallowable as direct and indirect charges.
  • Foreign travel is ineligible.