Connecticut Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Connecticut Department of Agriculture

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Grant amount: Up to US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 4, 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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The Connecticut Department of Agricultural (hereinafter, “CT DoAg”) is soliciting concept proposals for projects that specifically address the goals the United States Department of Agriculture (hereinafter, “USDA”) has for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

The goals of a submitted project must solely enhance the competitiveness of United States specialty crops in domestic and foreign markets. Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture (including maple syrup and honey), and nursery crops (including floriculture). A complete list of eligible and ineligible specialty crops can be found on the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.

The USDA is the funding entity and has the final approval of projects. Prior to the USDA’s approval, CT DoAg will make the initial review of the concept proposal and a review panel of industry representatives will make the secondary review and award recommendations to the Commissioner of Agriculture. The USDA will make the final award decisions. 

The funds available through the SCBGP are authorized under the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act, amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014. All projects are subject to the availability of federal funds.

Area of Focus: You must identify a primary area of focus.

  • Enhancement of food safety/security
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Production, aggregation, and distribution for wholesale markets
  • Increasing Connecticut Grown production and consumption
  • Crop pest and disease control/management
  • Crop research/ conservation
  • Promotion/marketing of Connecticut Grown specialty crops
  • Agricultural education and outreach
  • Nutrition education and consumption 

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.