The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting proposals for funding through the 2016 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Overview

Eligible projects must “solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops” and expand local, regional, domestic or international markets and distribution. Projects must address research, food safety, crop-specific issues, pest and disease, education, marketing and promotion for the specialty crop industry. USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, honey, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Specialty Crop Block Grant Application Process

MDA will consider proposals on a competitive basis scored and ranked by internal and external review panels. The department will consider grant awards up to a maximum of $50,000 for a specific project with a two-year grant period and a limit of $5,000 total for personnel and fringe benefits. Grant funds may not be used for administrative overhead. Funded projects are eligible to receive grant funds on a quarterly reimbursement schedule. No advance payments will be made.

MDA will accept proposals from individuals, individual producers, non-profit and for-project businesses, public and private colleges and universities, agencies, institutions, industry and community based organizations or commercial entities only if the project focus benefits the entire specialty crop industry.

Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Projects must impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry with strong information dissemination and outreach components providing results to benefit others rather than a single organization, institution or individual.

MDA will consider proposals from prior awardees after first-time applicants have an opportunity to compete.

MDA will include selected proposals in the Missouri Specialty Crop State Plan for USDA review and approval.

Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract with MDA.

2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Formal Proposal Application PDF | Word

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
October 2016
November 2016
MDA announces request for proposals
Grant proposals due to MDA
MDA submits Missouri Specialty Crop State Plan to USDA
MDA receives award announcement from USDA
MDA completes sub-recipient agreements

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