MO Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Missouri Department of Agriculture

Suggest an update

Anticipated deadline: Mar 27, 2021 1:00pm PDT

Grant amount: Up to US $50,000

Fields of work: Agricultural Crops

Applicant type: Organizations, Faculty, Postdoctoral Researcher, Research Scientist

Funding uses: Project / Program, Research

Location of project: Missouri

Location of residency: Missouri

View website    Save


MO Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Eligible projects must “solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops” and expand local, regional, domestic or international markets and distribution. Projects must address research, food safety, crop-specific issues, pest and disease, education, marketing and promotion for the specialty crop industry. USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, honey, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

All SCBGP awards are subject to the most recent USDA SCBGP Terms and Conditions of Award. All costs must be allowable in accordance with the federal cost principles outlined in 2 CFR part 200 Subpart E.

Applications for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. Projects must have strong information dissemination and outreach components where the shared results benefit others as well. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Examples of Acceptable Projects

  • 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 for 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.
  • A single farmer erects high tunnels on their property to extend the growing season of tomatoes and lettuce and conducts a field day and farm tour to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the production methods.
  • A university requests grant funds 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.

Project types for the Specialty Crop Industry

  • 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; and
  • improving food access in underserved communities;

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


  • MDA will accept proposals from individuals, individual producers, non-profit and for-project businesses, public and private colleges and universities, agencies, institutions, industry and community based organizations or commercial entities only if the project focus benefits the entire specialty crop industry. 
  • Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract with MDA.
  • Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).
    • View a list of eligible and ineligible commodities and the definition of the word “crop” here.


  • The department does not require but encourages either cash or in-kind matching contributions.


  • Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. 
  • Grant funds may not be used for administrative overhead.
  • The following groups are not considered specialty crops:
    • grains (corn, wheat, rice, etc.),
    • oil seed crops (canola, soy bean, camelina, etc),
    • bio-energy crops (switchgrass, sugar cane, etc),
    • forages (hay, alfalfa, clover, etc.),
    • field crops (peanut, sugar beet, cotton, etc.), and
    • plants federally controlled as illegal drug plants (cannabis, coca). 
  • Examples of Unacceptable Projects
    • A company requests grant 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.
    • Individual specialty crop businesses or roadside stands requesting funds to promote their individual businesses.
    • 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 company that develops specialty crop value-added products requests funds to train its employees how to make value-added products.
    • A specialty crop producer requests funds to promote their asparagus at a roadside stand.