2018-02-08 / People

announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is pleased to announce the competitive solicitation process to award the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects that ‘enhance the com­petitiveness of specialty crops.’ Specialty crops are defined as: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops, including flo­riculture. Please see the specific listing of all eligible crops at www.ams.usda.gov.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricul­tural Marketing Service (AMS) is expected to make grant funding available, with Georgia’s share anticipated to be approximately $1.2 million this year.

“The goal of this grant program is to help fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Geor­GDA gia’s specialty crop producers, in relation to each dollar spent,” said Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We encourage organizations such as IRS-des­ignated non-profits, commodity commissions, associations, state and local government entities and colleges and universities to consider applying.”

Note that USDA-AMS rules state that grant funds will NOT be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. Single organizations, governments and institutions are encouraged to participate as proj­ect partners with other eligible entities.

“As we did last year, we will first take Concept Proposals for review. By late February, the top-twenty strongest and most impactful Concept Proposals will be invited to submit a full application. Once finalized, each application will be carefully reviewed and evaluated by an independent Review Committee sometime in April or May,” said Jen Erdmann, Coordinator of the SCBG for the Department. “Then, all Department-approved projects will be combined and written as one grant submis­sion to the USDA/AMS. Upon approval from USDA, we will notify applicants of their status, which we expect to be in late September 2018.”

Please refer to the links avail­able on the GDA grants webpage located at www.agr.georgia. gov/grants.aspx for the official Request for Applications (RFA) and the Concept Proposal/pre- application form and additional information. For additional ques­tions please contact Jen Erdmann at Jen.Erdmann@agr.georgia. gov.

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