NE Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Nebraska Department of Agriculture

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Next deadline: Jan 31, 2021 (Pre proposal)

Later deadlines: Mar 31, 2021 (Full proposal)

Grant amount: Approximately US $40,000

Fields of work: Agricultural Crops

Applicant type: Organizations

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

Location of project: Nebraska

Location of residency: Nebraska

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The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is pleased to announce a competitive solicitation process to award Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture. Please visit USDA’s web site to view a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops, ineligible commodities, and examples of projects that solely enhance the competiveness of specialty crops under the SCBGP.

Funding and Duration

NDA anticipates that approximately $700,000 will be awarded to projects enhancing the competitiveness of Nebraska specialty crops. A maximum grant award does not exist and neither NDA nor the SCBGP requires a cost sharing or matching requirement. During the FY 2019 and 2020 funding cycles, the average amount of funding, per award, totaled $52,367 and $48,396, respectively. All projects are subject to the availability of funds. Grant funds cannot be expended before September 30, 2021, or after September 29, 2024. NDA reserves the right to offer an award amount less than the amount requested. 

Funding Areas

Funding areas are intended to clearly define the 2017 SCBGP priorities and help prospective applicants to both develop their projects and submit their projects in the most appropriate category. In practice, Concept Proposals might seem to address elements from multiple funding areas. However, applicants must select one of the areas listed in the Concept Proposal.

Concept Proposals should:

  • Demonstrate a high likelihood of success;
  • Describe the specialty crop grower benefit and grower connection to the project;
  • Be scalable to the larger community;
  • Demonstrate industry need and support;
  • Illustrate a sustainable funding source beyond the life of the proposed grant; and
  • Include an outreach component addressing how project results, research findings, and conclusions will be extended to specialty crop growers

Funding Areas:

  • Agriculture Education and Outreach
  • Nutrition Education and Consumption
  • Environmental Crop Research/Conservation
  • Enhancement of Food Safety/Food Security
  • Plant Pest and Disease Control
  • Trade Enhancements/Innovations
  • Good Agricultural Practices
  • Good Handling Practices
  • Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Organic and Sustainable Production Practices

NOTE: Applicants invited to Phase II will be required to participate in a webinar hosted by NDA. The webinar will be held on March 1, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time and will provide instructions on how to write a Grant Proposal. 

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


  • Projects must solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S. or U.S. territory-grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets.
  • Each project must identify at least one expected measurable outcome that specifically demonstrates the project’s impact in solely enhancing the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops.
  •  Proposals should be initiated by organizations, industry groups, or academic institutions, or should involve collaboration or partnerships between producers, industry groups, academics, or other organizations.
  • Applicants may cooperate with any public or private organization or two or more individuals or organizations may propose a joint project.
  • Applicants should describe how the project potentially affects and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual.
  • Multi-state projects are allowed, but should provide solutions to problems that cross state boundaries.
    • Multi-state partnership proposals must explain the impact the projects will have on a multi-state or national level. 


  • 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, grant funds cannot be used to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services.
  • Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. 

This page was last reviewed December 22, 2020 and last updated December 22, 2020