Mar 23, 2018
USDA Offers Funding to Support Growers By Tim Hodson

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced nearly $89 million in available funding to support specialty crop growers, strengthen local and regional food systems, and explore new market opportunities for growers, farmers and ranchers.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) enhances the competitiveness of U.S. grown specialty crops, including horticulture and nursery crops, fruits, vegetables, dried fruit and tree nuts.

More than $72 million in block grants will be awarded to state departments of agriculture, the District of Columbia and other American  territories such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.

States must submit SCBGP applications by May 24, 2018. Organizations or individuals interested in these grants should contact their state department of agriculture for more information on how each state awards sub grants.

The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) supports exploration of new domestic and international market opportunities for U.S. specialty crops and encourages research and innovation aimed at improving marketing system efficiency and performance. State departments of agriculture, state colleges and universities, and other eligible state agencies may apply for more than $1 million in funding that is available in 2018.

Now is your time to speak up. If your company is interested in learning more about this funding, you should contact your state department of agriculture as soon as possible to see how you can take advantage of these grants.

For more information about these programs, visit the AMS Grants & Opportunities web page and learn more about eligibility and grant uses at What AMS Grant is Right for Me?

— Tim

Tim Hodson