NC Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services


Grant amount: Up to US $200,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 2, 2019 2:00pm PST

Applicant type: College / University Government Entity For-Profit Business Nonprofit

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

Location of project: North Carolina

Location of residency: North Carolina

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Overview:

The purpose of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, nursery crops (including floriculture).

The SCBGP assists State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in solely enhancing the competitiveness of U.S.  specialty crops.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, nursery crops (including floriculture). A State department of agriculture is the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.

Project Types

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers the SCBGP. USDA encourages projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops pertaining to the following issues affecting 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 new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops
  • pest and disease control
  • development of organic and sustainable production practices
  • 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

 Funding Priorities

Applicants are to develop projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

Major areas of Focus ‐ Not limited to these issues affecting the specialty crop industry:

  • Increasing Specialty Crop nutrition education and consumption
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of production and distribution systems
  • Good Agricultural Practices
  • Good Handling Practices
  • Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Specialty Crop research, pest and disease control
  • Organic and Sustainability Production Practices
  • Enhancing food safety
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties 

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

Eligibility:

  • Eligible applicants:
    • State and/or local governmental units
    • academia (Universities and Colleges)
    • and non‐profit organizations, including producer associations, community‐based organizations and other specialty crop stakeholders
  • Multi‐state projects will be considered by the NC SCBGP.  
  • NC SCBGP grant funds will be awarded for projects of up to two (2) years duration.
  • More than one project application packet per applicant may be submitted.
  • Eligible And Ineligible Specialty Crops:
    • Commonly recognized specialty crops are fruits and tree nuts, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, as well as nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops.
    • A comprehensive listing can be found here.
  • Eligible applicants may wish to consider submitting grants that increase the competitiveness of specialty crop farmers, including Native American and disadvantaged farmers.
    • Increasing competitiveness may include developing local and regional food systems, and improving food access in underserved communities.

Preferences:

  • Multi‐state projects will be given consideration. 

Ineligibility:

  • No indirect or administration costs may be allotted to the budgeted projects.
  • Equipment purchases are not allowed.