OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Funding opportunities to enhance the specialty crop industry within the state are now available, thanks to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Services. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local, state, and federal government entities, for-profit organizations and colleges and universities.
“The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is a great opportunity to fund research, education, and outreach projects that benefit Oklahoma’s fruit and vegetable producers,” said Jason Harvey, ODAFF Agriculture Marketing Coordinator,
To be eligible, projects must enhance the competitiveness of an Oklahoma specialty crop, and they must benefit a specialty crop segment as a whole. 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.
Projects involving the following specialty crops are eligible: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, as well as nursery, floriculture and horticulture crops. Proposals may be for but not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, food safety and security, education, increased knowledge and consumption, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, conservation, product development, food agricultural practices, good handling practices and good manufacturing practices.
Grant proposals must be received by ODAFF no later than 5 p.m. on March 19.
Online resources include a Specialty Crop Grant Program application, grant application manual, and an evaluation form. Go to http://www.ag.ok.gov/mktdev/scg.htm for details.
For additional information, contact Jason Harvey at 405-606-1477.