Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Overview

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) projects "solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.” Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, maple syrup, honey, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Specialty Crop Block Grant Concept Paper Application Process

SCBGP funds may be used for a specialty crop project lasting up to two years. Concept Paper applications are considered on a competitive basis and ranked by an internal review panel. Only two submissions per entity (i.e. institution, organization, non-profit) are allowed with a limit of $5,000. total for personnel and fringe benefits. Selected Concept Paper applications will be invited to submit a formal proposal and will be ranked by a peer review panel. Selected formal proposals will be included in the Missouri Specialty Crop State Plan and reviewed by the USDA. Projects must impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public, rather than a single organization, institution or individual. Single organizations, institutions and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. The Missouri Department of Agriculture’s funding priorities include expanding local, regional and international markets and distribution channels for specialty crops, as well as facilitating education and marketing.

Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract. Applicants are encouraged to provide a cash match for their projects. Grant funds may not be used for administrative overhead.

Applications received from participants who have applied and received SCBGP grant awards at least twice will be reviewed and considered for funding after first-time applicants have the opportunity to compete.

Schedule

Friday, February 28, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
 
Monday, April 21, 2014
Monday, May 12, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
October/November 2014
Request for concept papers published
Concept paper applications due to MDA
Late submittals will not be accepted
Invitation by MDA to submit full grant proposals
Formal grant proposals due to MDA
Subgrantee partners selected by MDA
MDA state application submitted to USDA
Award announcements from USDA

Previously Funded Projects

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program application process, contact Susan Bennett at (573) 526-9548 or Susan.Bennett@mda.mo.gov.

Background

On December 21, 2004, the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note) authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide grants to state departments of agriculture solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) amended the Specialty Crops Competiveness Act of 2004 and authorized the USDA to provide grants to states for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) includes the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program which is continued for 2013 at $55 million.

The “Farm Bill,” more specifically referred to as the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law February 7, 2014 and will be enacted over the next five years. Availability of USDA, SCBGP funding for 2014 is contingent upon implementation of legislation.