April 14, 2017
Farmers seeking to enhance the competitiveness of Alabama-grown specialty crops are encouraged to apply for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants through May 19.
Administered through the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), the 2017 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program awards qualified applicants $5,000 to $25,000.
USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). Proposals with shorter time frames are encouraged, though projects can last up to 34 months.
The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Mac Higginbotham said this grant program is a great opportunity for producers.
“Consumers want to buy local, Alabama-grown foods, and programs like this encourage further development of Alabama’s specialty crop market,” said Higginbotham, the Federation’s Bee & Honey, Horticulture and Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod divisions director.
Unfunded applications from previous years may be proposed for review. ADAI will submit applications to USDA in June, and grants will be announced this fall. Visit tinyurl.com/specialtycrops17 for more details.