Date: Thursday, August 25, 2022
WASHINGTON, August 25, 2022—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $317,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Vermont. This USDA grant will help the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.
“USDA applauds Vermont’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.”
VAAFM will award SCBGP funds to seven projects to benefit Vermont fruit, vegetable, and value-added producers and increase consumer access to locally produced food. These grants will support five agricultural organizations to undertake a range of research, development, outreach, and marketing projects.
“The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program strengthens Vermont’s agricultural economy. This year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding will help Vermont fruit, vegetable, honey, maple, wine, and other value-added producers and provide consumers more local food.,” said Secretary of Agriculture of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Anson Tebbetts. “These grants represent an exciting step forward in growing our economy and making Vermont more affordable.”
The funding to Vermont 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).