Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that the IA Dept. of Ag is accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block program. The estimated $271,000 grants are available to support projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa and are contingent on federal funds being made available to the Department. Grant awards will be considered up to a maximum of $24,000 and projects can have a duration of up to 30 months.
“Specialty Crops” that are eligible under this program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Both fresh and processed specialty crops are eligible.
“The Specialty Crop Block Grant provides funds to support food safety, research and marketing efforts that will encourage Iowans to choose the products that are produced right here in our state,” Northey said. “Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products.”
Iowa agencies, universities, institutions, and producer, industry, and community based organizations are all eligible to apply for funding to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. In addition, single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.
Proposals must be received by IDALS on or before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 2013. Click here for more information.