WV Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

West Virginia Department of Agriculture

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

Anticipated deadline: Jan 8, 2021 1:00pm PST

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

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

Location of project: West Virginia

Location of residency: West Virginia

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The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is accepting project proposals for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). The grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the WVDA, gives specialty crop growers the opportunity to learn new techniques, test them out and share that knowledge with other producers. 

The goal, according to West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick, is to expand specialty crops here in the Mountain State. 

“Our farmers are doing fabulous work rebuilding the state’s agriculture industry. However, sometimes they need assistance to grow ideas and help them blossom. Specialty Crop Block Grants make it financially possible for those projects to take shape,” he said. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is to protect plant, animal, and human health and the state’s food supply; to promote food safety and protect consumers through educational and regulatory programs; and to foster economic growth by promoting WV agriculture and agribusinesses.

Eligible Projects

USDA encourages entities to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry: 

  • enhancing food safety;
  • assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain in developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and 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; and development of organic and sustainable production practices;
  • increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
  • developing local and regional food systems; and
  • improving food access in underserved communities

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


  • Eligible Applicants:
    • The following are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts:
      • State and/or local organizations
      • government entities
      • producer associations
      • academia
      • community based organizations
      • and other specialty crop stakeholders
    • Regional or multi-state projects may be considered by WVDA.
    • While single entities are eligible, a requirement of the program is that projects must also benefit more than one commercial product, organization, or individual.
      • Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.
  • Eligible crops:
    • Commonly recognized specialty crops are fruits, vegetables, honey, maple syrup, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).
    • Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops.
    • Processed products shall constitute greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.
  • Solely Enhance Specialty Crops:
    • To be eligible for a grant, the project(s) must solely enhance the competitiveness of West Virginia specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets. 
      • Examples of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops include, but are not limited to:
        • research
        • promotion
        • marketing
        • nutrition
        • trade enhancement
        • food safety
        • food security
        • plant health programs
        • education, ‘‘buy local’’ programs
        • increased consumption
        • increased innovation
        • improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems
        • environmental concerns and conservation
        • product development
        • and developing cooperatives


  • Grants for educational and research purposes are favored. 
  • The following priorities have been adopted by WVDA specific to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. These priorities are used to guide the WVDA Commissioner in making decisions on funding recommendations.
    • Providing Farmer Education on Specialty Crop:
      • Farm and food safety
      • Farm to institution practices
      • Value-added production
      • Commercial seed production
      • Organic and non-organic sustainable food production
    • Supporting Research in the areas of Specialty Crop:
      • Disease and pest management
      • Variety testing and selection
      • Organic and non-organic food production
      • Improved production marketing efficiencies
    • Planning and supporting Infrastructures that creates or supports SpecialtyCrop:
      • Storage
      • Farm to institute
      • Cold Chain (including post-harvest handling and flash freezing technologies)
      • Development and expansion of aggregation sites for specialty crops
      • Improved specialty crop access and nutritional quality of specialty cops in underserved communities
      • Innovative and new specialty crop production processes/methods


  • Grants may not be awarded to private individuals.
  • Products explicitly excluded are livestock, eggs, corn, soybeans and other commodity-type crops.
  • Multiple Beneficiaries
    • WVDA 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.
    • In addition, recipients and subrecipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services.