USDA Announces $72.4 Million in Grant Funding Awarded to Strengthen the Specialty Crop Industry

September 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $72.4 million awarded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops. SCBGP non-competitively provides grant funding to the departments of agriculture in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. The 56 grant recipients fund research, agricultural extension activities and programs to increase demand for agricultural goods of value to farmers in their respective state or territory.

SCBGP recipients include the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which partnered with Colorado State University to develop sustainable orchard management strategies that improve the economic aspects of tree fruit production in western Colorado. Additionally, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Center for Rural Affairs and the University of Nebraska—Lincoln Bee Lab, is using SCBGP funding to test the effectiveness and production of alternative hive structures, which will educate new and existing beekeepers on alternative hive structures for production and honey bee health.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) supports U.S. food and agricultural products market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services and Congressionally-funded grants.

To learn more about AMS grant funding to enhance and strengthen agricultural systems, visit

Lists of the FY 2019 of grant recipients are available here.

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