California will again receive the biggest share of funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
The program allocates funds to state departments of agriculture for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, programs to increase demand and more, according to a news release from the USDA.
Funds for each state are based on specialty crop production. California was allocated $19.7 million in fiscal year 2014, with Florida receiving $4.5 million and Washington $4.25 million.
“Specialty crop block grants help sustain the livelihoods of American farmers while strengthening the rural economy,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “These grants contribute to food safety improvements, increased access to healthy food, and new research to help growers increase profitability and sustainability.”
The program, administered by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, is designed to enhance the markets for specialty crops.
Growers can apply directly to their state department of agriculture, according to the release. Several states have already published their requests for proposals, and the list of fiscal year 2014 State Requests for Proposals is available on the AMS website.
Selected states FY 2014 allocations - Specialty Crop Block Grants
- Arizona $1,100,428.11
- California $19,761,117.56
- Florida $4,552,723.92
- Georgia $1,393,718.92
- Idaho $1,914,955.87
- Michigan $1,981,817.31
- Minnesota $1,389,725.01
- New York $1,410,387.64
- North Carolina $1,169,378.27
- North Dakota $3,135,521.17
- Oregon $1,949,764.89
- Pennsylvania $1,039,933.92
- Texas $1,905,015.87
- Washington $4,259,686.23