The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is accepting grant applications for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets. Applications are due May 3.
Specialty crops, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture (including and honey) and nursery crops (including floriculture).
“The desire for specialty crops is growing in Alabama, and we want our farmers to be well-positioned to take advantage of consumer needs,” said Hunter McBrayer, commodity director with the Alabama Farmers Federation. “This funding is designed to help farmers improve their bottom lines and can also be used to help promote the industry.”
Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are eligible. ADAI and a review committee will make application evaluation reviews and award recommendations to USDA, which has final approval.
The minimum amount awarded is $5,000. The maximum award to commodity groups, agriculture organizations, municipalities and agriculture nonprofits applicants is $25,000; the maximum for colleges and universities is $40,000.
A conference call April 1 will review all stages of the specialty crop block grant process. RSVP for the call to ADAI’s Johnny Blackmon at (334) 240-7257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp.
Projects cannot begin until official agreements are signed, which is expected October 2021.