WI Specialty Crop Block Grants

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection

Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $100,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 16, 2019 3:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Organizations

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

Location of project: Wisconsin

Location of residency: Wisconsin

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In anticipation of receiving Specialty Crop Block Grant Funds from the USDA, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WI DATCP) is announcing a competitive solicitation process to award USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG) funds for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin’s specialty crop industries. Selected applications will be included into one Wisconsin state plan and submitted to the USDA for final approval.

SCBG grant funds will be awarded for projects up to 2 years, 8 months in duration and must conclude by June 30, 2020. Applications that build on a previously funded SCBG project are welcomed. In such cases, the application should clearly indicate how the project complements but does not duplicate previous work.

More than one project application per applicant may be submitted. Projects may be submitted by a single organization or for combined specialty crop efforts. Multi-state projects are also eligible to address a growing need for solutions to problems that cross state boundaries. A multi-state project is a project proposed to two or more states requesting that the states fund separate budget items but achieve the same goals and outcomes. Multi-state project applicants should clearly describe the multistate nature of their project and identify the other states from which funds will be requested.

Program Priority Areas

For FY17, WI DATCP will accept applications pertaining to the following priority areas:
  • Environmental sustainability, pest and disease control, & varietal improvement
  • Development of food safety practices that assist with compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) certification.
  • Increasing the demand for and supply of Wisconsin specialty crops
  • Industry innovation in production, processing, and packaging
  • Education for producers, processors, and the general public to increase production, sales, or consumption of Wisconsin specialty crops

This is a reimbursement grant. Grant funds will be paid to recipients for approved expenditures on a reimbursement basis. Grant recipients must have the financial capability to pay project expenses upfront, and may request reimbursement monthly.

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


  • Eligible applicants:
    • Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations involved in Wisconsin agriculture.
    • Individual producers, for-profit businesses, or commercial entities may only apply if their project can demonstrate a significant benefit to the specialty crop industry regionally, statewide or beyond.
    • Proposals may involve collaborations or partnerships between producers, industry, academia or agricultural organizations.
    • Applicants may cooperate with any public or private organization. 
  • To be eligible for a grant, the project(s) must solely enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin grown specialty crops and cannot benefit any other crops.
    • Specialty crops are defined in law as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.”
    • The USDA maintains a more comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops on its website that will be updated as USDA gets new questions.
  • Eligible expenses- allowable costs: 
    • All costs must be associated with project activities that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. 
    • Eligible project expenses include, but are not limited to:
      • Compensation for Personnel Services - Salaries, wages and fringe benefits
      • Consultant Services or Subcontractors - Costs of professional and consultant services rendered by persons who are members of a particular profession or possess a special skill.
      • Materials and Supplies - Costs incurred for materials, supplies, and fabricated parts necessary to carry out the grant project. Purchased materials and supplies shall be charged at their actual prices, net of applicable credits. Supplies are items with individual cost of less than $5000 or depreciation of less than one year.
      • Travel -  Mileage reimbursement following federal requirements for reimbursement rates,  vehicle rental, or air fare.
      • Equipment and other Capital Expenditures - Lease/rental or depreciation costs
      • Other Miscellaneous Costs - For example: meetings, publications, printing, etc.


  • Priority will be given to projects that have the potential to provide solutions that lead to measurable benefits to specialty crop growers and consumers. 


  • Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that provide profit to or directly benefit a specific commercial product or a single organization, institution, or individual. 
  • Projects cannot include non-specialty crops even if other funding is used to pay for the non-specialty crop portion of the project.
    • The USDA maintains a list of ineligible crops on its website.
  • Unallowable costs/expenses include:
    • Capital Expenditures for Equipment, Buildings, and Land
    • Bad Debts
    • Lobbying, Political and Other Governmental Activities
    • Advertising and Public Relations costs
    • Entertainment and Alcohol 
    • Travel expenses related to overnight accommodations such as hotels and meals or per diem expenses