WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2023 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced up to $10 million in available competitive grant funding through the 2023 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP). The SCMP strengthens the competitiveness of the nation’s specialty crop industry through collaborative multi-state partnerships.
“The Specialty Crop Multi-State Program offers a unique approach to addressing issues facing the specialty crops industry,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The program supports collaborative research and problem solving which will ultimately increase the competitiveness of domestically grown specialty crops products.”
SCMP funding supports collaborative, multi-state projects that address food safety, plant pests and disease, research, crop-specific common issues, and marketing and promotion for specialty crops including fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). SCMP is authorized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) and awards competitive grants to participating state departments of agriculture as well as local governments, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, or nonprofit organizations residing in nonparticipating states. The program is administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
State departments must partner with organizations located in at least two different states to qualify. Partner organizations include specialty crop producer associations and groups, state agencies, Tribal governments, universities, nonprofits, and other stakeholder groups and organizations.
Funding will be available for use beginning September 30, 2024. Projects are awarded for up to 36 months and are expected to be completed by September 29, 2027. Matching funds are not required.
In addition to screening proposals and submitting applications to AMS, participating state departments of agriculture will:
- Assume administrative responsibility for any application they submit that is selected for funding.
- Establish sub-grants and/or contracts with the multi-state partners to complete the project.
Applications must be received before 11:59 pm Eastern Time on December 22, 2023, through Grants.gov.
On Wednesday, USDA announced an additional $72.9 million awarded to 55 states and territories through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which provides funding to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.
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