Starting today, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will begin accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), a federal grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This application period is in addition to the annual application period that opens in December. CDA has approximately $900,000.00 in stimulus funds to award through this application process.
In addition to the regular SCBGP funding authorized by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“Farm Bill”), the United States Congress has awarded additional one-time SCBGP funding to state departments of agriculture due to the COVID-19 impacts on the food system under House Resolution 133 (“H.R. 133 Stimulus Funding”).
“The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is an important resource for supporting and strengthening the Colorado specialty crop industry,” said Jennifer Benson, a grant specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “This grant opportunity will help producers who are trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and who are thinking creatively about how to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of farmers, and strengthen local economies.”
Qualifying projects may focus on marketing, promotion, education, research, trade, nutrition, or food safety. Special consideration will be given to projects that facilitate recovery from COVID-19-related industry setbacks and grant funds may be used to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), COVID-related facility adjustments for worker and product safety, and costs related to vaccination of employees.
Producer groups, researchers, and other industry supporters are encouraged to submit proposals. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.
To be considered for funding, applicants must submit a concept proposal, which consists of a brief summary of the problem, the proposed project, and a simple budget. A review committee will score concept proposal submissions and applicants selected for funding will be invited to submit a full proposal to the USDA.
Concept proposals must be received electronically by 5:00 p.m. MT on Monday, November 15, 2021. For program guidelines and application materials, visit CDA’s specialty crop block grant page or email Jennifer Benson, CDA Grants Specialist at email@example.com.