April 2015
Farm & Field

Applications Being Accepted for USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Press Release from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is accepting grant applications for projects enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets. The application deadline for these specialty crop block grants through the United States Department of Agriculture is May 22, 2015, 5 p.m. CST.

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture (including maple syrup and honey) and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are all eligible for this grant program, provided their proposals meet all the specifications. The USDA-AMS has final approval for projects submitted. The ADAI and a review committee of industry representatives will make the application evaluation review and award recommendations.

The specialty crops block grant is a competitive grant process. The maximum award to any applicant is $25,000; the minimum, $5,000.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan stated, "The department looks forward to implementing the 2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program under supervision of USDA. We are fortunate to be a part of this successful program that provides an opportunity to expand the specialty crop industry in Alabama to eligible and deserving recipients."

Projects cannot begin until the USDA-AMS has made its official award announcement, expected by October 2015.

For more detailed information, please visit www.agi.alabama.gov/blockgrant or contact Hassey Brooks at 334-240-3877. All applicants must complete and submit documentation as related to the newly enacted Alabama Immigration Law. Please visit www.agi.alabama.gov/blockgrant for details.