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How do I apply to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program?

Applications for specialty crop projects must be submitted to the appropriate State Department of Agriculture to be considered for funding. State Departments of Agriculture are encouraged to partner with specialty crop stakeholders, including socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers, in order to fulfill State specialty crop priorities. To learn how to apply for SCBGP funding, contact your State Department of Agriculture Project Coordinator.

Applications for grant funds should describe how the project potentially impacts and produces measureable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Who is my State Contact for the SCBGP? What is my State’s Application Process?

You can access information about your State Department of Agriculture, find contact information for your State’s Specialty Crop Project Coordinator, and review the available State Department of Agriculture Requests for Proposals that provide information about your State’s application process at State Contacts.

What is an Eligible Specialty Crop?

Specialty crops are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). You can find a more detailed definition of specialty crops and a listing of eligible specialty crops at Definition of Specialty Crops.

How do I get a Government Grant as an Individual?

Although grants usually go to state and local governments or nonprofits organizations, which then use the money to operate assistance programs locally, there are some grant and loan opportunities for individuals within the federal government. Several sources for government grant and loan opportunities include (but are not limited to),, the Catalog of Federal Assistance (CFDA), and A good starting point for a search for individual grant and loan opportunities is Ask FSA: Your Online Knowledge Base.

How do State Departments of Agriculture Applicants Apply?

The agency, commission, or department responsible for agriculture within each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is eligible to apply directly to the USDA.

State applicants must submit their applications through

How can I get money to start or expand a farm?

There are many resources for you to start or expand a small-scale farming operation. You just need to know where to look. For starters, browse to the Start2Farm.Gov Clearinghouse, a service of the National Agricultural Library ( Start2Farm.Gov is a project of The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) which is administered by the USDA, National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). It will assist you by putting you on the right track to find funding.


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  Last Modified Date: 05/11/2015