NDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

State of Nevada Department of Agriculture


Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $25,000

Next anticipated deadline: Apr 14, 2018 (Letter of inquiry)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 5, 2018 5:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Organizations Individuals

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Nevada

Location of residency: Nevada

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Overview:

Under the 2008 Farm bill, the Nevada Department of Agriculture receives grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of Nevada’s specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture) -- see full list here). Various small farmers, organizations, and schools have received grant funding in order to improve overall knowledge regarding the growth of specialty crops and their efficiency in Nevada’s climate. 

The sole purpose of this program is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Priorities for use of USDA Specialty Crop Competitive Grant Program funds will include, but are not limited to the activities listed below:

  • Increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption
  • Improve efficiency within the distribution system and reduce costs
  • Promote the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices while encouraging audit fund cost-sharing for small farmers, packers and processors
  • Support research through standard and green initiatives
  • Enhance food safety
  • Develop new/improved seed varieties and specialty crops
  • Control pests and diseases
  • Create organic and sustainable production practices
  • Establish local and regional fresh food systems
  • Expand food access in underserved/food desert communities 

Examples of "enhancing the competitiveness" of specialty crops includes, but is not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, development of sustainable farming systems, school garden programs, farm-to-school programs, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, and developing cooperatives. 

Priorities for use of USDA Specialty Crop Competitive Grant Program funds will include, but are not limited to the activities listed below:

  •  Increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption.
  • Improve efficiency within the distribution system and reduce costs.
  • Promote the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices while encouraging audit fund cost-sharing for small farmers, packers and processors.
  • Support research through standard and green initiatives.
  • Enhance food safety
  • Develop new/improved seed varieties and specialty crops
  • Control pests and diseases
  • Create organic and sustainable production practices
  • Establish local and regional fresh food systems
  • Expand food access in underserved/food desert communities 

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

Eligibility:

  • Applications will be accepted from non-profits, tribal organizations, minority groups, disadvantaged farmers, agricultural associations, industry groups, community based organizations, individual producers and academia that seek to improve the competitiveness of specialty crops in Nevada. 
  • Eligible projects include but are not limited to work in research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, farm- to-school programs, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, improved efficiency, and environmental concerns and conservation. It is important to note that this grant program is awarding funds to projects that benefit more than one product or organization involved in specialty crops.
  • Applicants must be in good standing with all grant funds and required reports associated with NDA in order to be eligible to apply.
  • Any individual/organization that has been disbarred or had funding revoked with any state/federal entity will not be considered.
  • Applicant projects must benefit more than one individual or organization.
  • Each project submitted in the State Plan must include at least one of the eight outcomes listed below, and at least one of the indicators listed underneath the selected outcome(s).  Details can be found here.
    • Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through:
      • Increased sales.
      •  Increased consumption.
      • Increased access and awareness.
      • Greater capacity of sustainable practices of specialty crop production resulting in increased yield, reduced inputs, increased efficiency, increased economic return, and/or conservation of resources.
      • More sustainable, diverse, and resilient specialty crop systems,
      • Increasing the number of viable technologies to improve food safety.
      • Increased understanding of threats to food safety from microbial and chemical sources.
      • Enhancing or improving the economy as a result of specialty crop development.
    • Eligible expenses
      • Aquaponics 
      • Conferences 
      • Contractual/Consultant Costs (Professional Services)
      • Fixed Amount Sub-awards
      • Travel and Foreign Travel (with prior approval)
      • Health and Nutrition Messaging and Selling and Marketing Costs (only  if the primary purpose is to promote the sale of an eligible specialty crop)
      • Insurance and Indemnification
      • Organization Costs
      • Participant Support Costs
      • Pre-Award (PreAgreement Costs), Rearrangement and Reconversion Costs
      • Salaries, Wages, and Training

Preferences:

  • Work in research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, farm- to-school programs, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, improved efficiency, and environmental concerns and conservation.
  • Matching funds are not required but encouraged to demonstrate project commitment.

Ineligibility:

  • Projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide profit to a single institution, individual, or organization are ineligible.
  • Find a list of ineligible crops on page 7.
  • Advances are no longer permitted and payment will only be issued on a reimbursement basis .
  • Indirect is not allowed 
  •  Any individual/organization that has been disbarred or had funding revoked with any state/federal entity will not be considered.
  • In no case will USDA Specialty Crop Competitive Grant funds be commingled with the personal funds of, or be used for personal purposes by, any officer, employee, or agent of the recipient; nor will any of these funds be deposited in personal bank accounts for disbursement by personal check. 
  • Ineligible expenses
    • Alcoholic Beverages
    • Construction and Renovation and Land or Building Acquisition
    • Contributions and Donations
    • Entertainment, Fundraising, Lobbying, Political Activities
    • Equipment, Buildings, and Land
    • Fines, Penalties, Damages and Other Settlements
    • General Costs of Government
    • Goods or Services for Personal Use
    • Information Technology Systems
    • Memberships, Subscriptions, and Professional Activity Costs
  • Examples of ineligible 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.
    •  A State requests grant funds to make grants to individual specialty crop businesses or roadside stands to promote their individual business.
    • 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 its value-added products.
    • A specialty crop producer requests funds to promote their asparagus at a roadside stand.