March 04, 2014

Director of Agriculture Announces Grants for Missouri Specialty Crop Producers

Deadline to apply for 2014-2015 funding is March 28

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for funding through the USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Applications are available through late March for individuals, community organizations and research institutions working to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Missouri.

"Specialty crop grants are one of the many options available to producers growing their operations through innovation and value-added agriculture and the organizations working to assist them," said Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce. "We continue to look for ways to support Missouri's agricultural producers, including through increasing the production, processing and distribution of Missouri's 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. The Department's goal is to use the grant program to expand local, regional and international markets and distribution channels for specialty crops, as well as for education, marketing and infrastructure development. The Department anticipates receiving several hundred thousand dollars in grant funding for the upcoming fiscal year from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

Concept paper applications for the upcoming fiscal year must be submitted to the Department no later than March 28, 2014. The concept papers will be evaluated and selected applicants will be invited to submit detailed grant proposals in April. Those proposals will be due to the Department in May for inclusion in Missouri's state plan. A list of previously funded projects is available on the Department's website.

Applications are available online at For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at