Date: Thursday, August 25, 2022
WASHINGTON, August 25, 2022—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $23.4 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to California. This USDA grant will help the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.
“USDA applauds California’s continued commitment to supporting our nation’s producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded will foster innovative research and new market opportunities within the specialty crop sector, while furthering USDA’s goals of creating a more fair and equitable food system and supporting local and regional producers.”
Through the SCBGP, the CDFA is funding 50 specialty crop projects. Among the projects, is $2.5 million being awarded to the California Grown Buy California Marketing Agreement (BCMA). The project will implement a multi-platform digital campaign as well as retail and foodservice promotions to create increased consumer demand for California specialty crops. Funding is also being provided to the California Fresh Farmers Market Association (CFFMA) to host eight year-round certified farmers’ markets reaching 500,000 individuals monthly. CFFMA will also begin a pilot educational program on specialty crops at the markets all with an overall goal to increase sales of specialty crops grown by CFFMA’s producers and to boost 1,000 regional consumers’ fruit and vegetable consumption by 50 percent. Additional SCBGP funded projects focus in areas such as education, technical training, research, and sustainable farming.
The funding to California is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2022 SCBGP funding awarded to 55 states, territories and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.
The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2022 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning September 30, 2022. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $953 million through the SCBGP to fund 11,331 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and broadened the market for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.
More information about these awards is available on this webpage: 2022 SCBGP Awarded Grants (pdf).