WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)


Grant amount: US $25,000 - US $250,000

Next anticipated deadline: Feb 5, 2019 3:00pm PST (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Mar 19, 2019 4:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Organizations

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

Location of project: Washington

Location of residency: Washington

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Overview:

Under the Farm Bill, WSDA receives grant funding from USDA to enhance the competitiveness of Washington's specialty crops. WSDA conducts an annual competitive application process to award grant funds.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops.

For a list of eligible and ineligible commodities, see Definition of Specialty Crops.

Funding Categories

Environmental Stewardship

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that enhance soil health, conservation of agricultural land and water, and address specialty crops contribution to adaptation and/or mitigation of climate change, as well as any other projects that demonstrate environmental stewardship

Research: Plant Health and Pest Management

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that address pests and diseases that affect the production of Washington’s specialty crops. Projects submitted to the Plant Health and Pest Management category should include applied research related to the probability and impact of invasive pests, disease, and weed threats to specialty crops, and research to develop tools to detect, eradicate, and control pests and diseases

Research: Food Safety

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that address food safety for specialty crops. Such projects might include: applied research projects that address "real world" food safety issues related to food and agricultural practices in the specialty crop industry, the impact of agricultural practices on subsequent specialty crop food processing; science-based practical and transferrable research projects that focus on food safety issues related to food-borne pathogen detection.

Innovative Technologies

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that address any innovative technology that will increase the competitiveness of specialty crops. 

Training and Education

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that address training and/or education that will increase the competitiveness for Washington’s specialty crop industry. Projects might include food safety education and outreach projects to help compliance with the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Marketing: Domestic

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that address domestic marketing for Washington’s specialty crops. Projects submitted can pertain to any type of domestic marketing project

Marketing: International

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that will enhance or increase the opportunity for the exports of Washington’s specialty crops to foreign markets, increasing the competitiveness of specialty crops.

Marketing: Small Farm/Regional

In this funding category, WSDA will consider projects that enhance and develop small farm/regional markets for Washington’s specialty crop industry.

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

Eligibility:

  • There is no limit as to the number of concept proposals submitted.
  • The project must clearly and directly impact Washington state specialty crop producers or processors.
  • Projects must solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.
  • Eligible organizations include:
    • industry associations;
    • producer groups;
    • commodity commissions;
    • non-profit organizations;
    • for-profit organizations;
    • local, state and federal government entities; and
    • educational institutions.
  • Projects must benefit more than one product or organization. 

Preferences:

  • Matching funds or in-kind contributions are not required, but are strongly encouraged and will be considered as part of the total Budget category score.
  • 2017 Funding Priorities (in no ranking order)
    • Control Pests and Diseases
    • Develop and Enhance International and Local/Regional Markets
    • Preserve/Increase Water Availability
    • Improve Production Practices through Innovative Technologies
    • Increase the Nutritional Knowledge and Consumption of Specialty Crops
    • Reduce Regulatory Barriers
    • Food Safety Research or Education
    • Develop Organic and Sustainable Production Practices
    • Consumer Education of Specialty Crops and Where They Come From
    • Projects that do not address one of the above priorities are still eligible for funding, as long as they meet allother program requirements

Ineligibility:

  • Indirect costs are unallowable under Washington’s grant program. 
  • The SCBGP will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual.
    • This means that the program will not provide funds to start or expand a farm or other business venture
  • Consider carefully whether your project is likely to have benefit to non-specialty crops.
    • If so, the project is not likely to be funded..