Specialty Crop Block Grant

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is a federal grant program administered by state departments of agriculture with the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Projects must demonstrate a wider benefit to the specialty crops community and are not meant to benefit individual farms or businesses. Projects may focus on:

  • Leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
  • Assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops; 
  • Expanding availability of and access to specialty crops; and/or
  • Addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

2021 Application Information

The application period for 2021 will be from December 21, 2020 to February 15, 2021. Concept papers must be received by 5:00 p.m. on February 15.
CDA can award up to approximately $700,000 to projects solely enhancing the competitiveness of Colorado specialty crops.

How to Apply

  • Before applying, read and follow all Concept Proposal Instructions.
  • Complete a Concept Proposal. For an example, see Sample Concept Proposal.
  • Submit all completed Concept Proposals to cda_scbgp@state.co.us by 5:00 p.m. on February 15, 2021. Concept Proposals must be saved as a Microsoft Word .docx file.
  • All Concept Proposals will be reviewed competitively by a Review Panel using the Technical Evaluation Criteria Score Sheet.
  • Concept Papers selected for funding will be notified on or about April 9, 2021. Those applicants will complete a more detailed, full proposal for inclusion in Colorado’s State SCBGP Plan for submission to USDA. Full Proposals will be due from selected grantees by May 7, 2021.

Requirements of Note

  • Letters of support must be included with each concept paper. Letters should be from the specialty crop industry and should indicate how the project would make Colorado specialty crops more competitive. If industry supports multiple projects, stakeholders may be asked to rank the importance of projects.

  • Publication costs and out-of-state travel to present research at conferences WILL NOT be funded.

  • Projects that do not demonstrate that the potential impact of the project will accrue to a broader group of similar producers, region, or industry segment will not be submitted to the review team.

  • Scoring for previous performance: If the organization or project manager has previously received funding through the program, up to 20 points may be deducted by CDA if the past recipient failed to provide invoices and reports in a timely manner or otherwise failed to properly administer the project in compliance with the requirements of the SCBGP.

Additional Resources

What is a specialty crop?
Crops excluded from the program as defined by USDA's AMS include: hemp, marijuana, cotton, cottonseed, feed crops (such as barley, corn, hay, oats, sorghum grain, and millet), flaxseed, food grains (such as quinoa, rice, rye, and wheat), livestock and dairy products (including eggs), marine aquaculture, oil crops (such as peanut, soybean, sunflower, safflower, rapeseed, canola, and mustard seed), peanuts, range grasses, sugar beets, sugarcane, and tobacco. A complete list of eligible crops is available on the USDA specialty crop block grant program (SCBGP) website at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop.

How to Obtain a DUNS Number

How to register your DUNS number with Sam.gov

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

2021 USDA Request for Applications

USDA Terms and Conditions

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (Administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service to individual state departments of agriculture.)


Contact Us

Colorado Department of Agriculture
Markets Division
305 Interlocken Parkway
Broomfield, CO 80021
(303) 869-9170

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