2016 specialty crop block grant program announced

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, March 22, 2016

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will soon accept applications for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
The application period is April 15 until May 6. With that time being relatively brief, participants are encouraged to plan project details before the application period begins.
TDA Assistant Commissioner for Market Development Ed Harlan advises eligible individuals and organizations to prepare proposals in advance, using the 2016 project template. That template and information required to apply are available at www.tn.gov/agriculture/topic/ag-businesses-specialty-crop.
“Specialty crop block grants can take established operations from good to great,” Harlan said. “Competitive projects will have the potential to benefit our rural communities and the citizens of Tennessee.”
The USDA grants are authorized through the federal Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 and are administered by TDA. The SCBG funds are granted to enhance production and competitiveness of specialty crops, including fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, floriculture and other nursery crops.
Universities, institutions, cooperatives, producers, and industry or community-based organizations may submit a proposal for funding. The program aims to support projects that directly affect multiple Tennessee producers and have a positive, long-lasting impact on Tennessee agriculture. All recipients must be recognized by the IRS.
Proposals are reviewed and ranked according to criteria provided on the website. Applicants will be notified by June 13 whether TDA intends to present their projects to the USDA. First-time recipients have a funding limit of $25,000.
For more information about the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, email tn.scbg@tn.gov.

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