The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is a competitive grant program operated by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) in which funding from the United States Department of Agriculture is awarded to eligible applicants to support Utah’s specialty crop industry. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture — including nursery crops, and more.
SCBGP assists State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by—
- Leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
- Assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
- Expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and
- Addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.
Types of Projects
States are encouraged to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:
- Enhancing food safety;
- Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27), for example, developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems (including USDA Group GAP) for small farmers, packers and processors;
- Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
- Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
- Pest and disease control;
- Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
- Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
- It is anticipated that approximately $72.4 million, less USDA administrative costs, will be available to fund applications in FY 2020.
- Projects must be completed within 3 years.
- This grant is open to producers, schools, trade associations, non-profits, farmers markets, farming and ranching co-ops, etc. headquartered in Utah. Potential projects may include a broad range of focus such as improving marketing, research, training, certifications, food safety, pest control, plant health, and beyond for specialty crops.
- Candidates must demonstrate the ability to enhance the competitiveness of Utah grown specialty crops and benefit more than one producer or organization.
For more information, visit https://ag.utah.gov/specialty-crop-block-grant-program/