The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for anticipated funding through the 2024 U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Overview

Eligible projects must “enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops” and expand local, regional, domestic or international markets and distribution. Projects must address one of the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry.

  • Enhancing food safety;
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27). For example, developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems (including USDA Group GAP) for small farmers, packers and processors;
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
  • Sustainability.

USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, honey, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). View a list of eligible and ineligible commodities and the definition of the word “crop” at

All SCBGP awards are subject to the most recent USDA SCBGP Terms and Conditions of Award. All costs must be allowable in accordance with the federal cost principles outlined in 2 CFR part 200 Subpart E.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Application Process

MDA will accept applications 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. Applications are accepted on a competitive basis, and scored and ranked by an internal and/or external review panel. Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract with MDA.

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.

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 $15,000 total for personnel and fringe benefits. Funded projects are eligible to receive grant funds on a quarterly reimbursement schedule. No advance payments will be made.

All outcomes and their associated indicators and data collection must occur within the project’s period of performance.

Complete and submit the 2024 MDA SCBGP Application Part 1 and 2024 USDA SCBGP Application Part 2 by 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, 2024. Late submissions will not be accepted.

2024 Application Files for Reference:

2024 Application Files for Completion:

2024 Schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024
Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2024
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
September-October 2024
November-December, 2024
Application Posted to Website
Grant Applications Due to MDA 3 pm
MDA State Application Submitted to USDA
Award Announcements from USDA
Subrecipient Agreements Completed

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