MDA Announces New Specialty Crop Grant Program

specialty crop grantThe Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced it is accepting applications through May 29 for a competitive specialty crop grant program to fund projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of these specialty crops.

MDA will award $450,000 in grants for projects with a minimum level of $15,000. Special consideration will be given to projects that address food safety, market products with Maryland’s Best branding, and have efficient distribution systems. MDA intends to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Maryland specialty crop producers in relation to each dollar spent. Funded projects must have support from specialty crop producers. Grants will be reimbursement grants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.  Visit here for a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops.

MDA is seeking applications from eligible non-profit organizations, government entities, and for-profit organizations for projects that  promote or enhance the production of and access to Maryland specialty crops. Applicants must reside (or their business or educational affiliation must be in) Maryland.

Electronic grant applications must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. on May 29. Paper applications must be postmarked by May 29.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill. To obtain an application, or for questions about the grant application or to discuss proposal ideas prior to the deadline, contact Karen Fedor at Karen.fedor@maryland.gov or 410-841-5773.

Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture Press Release

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