The USDA is seeking applicants for Specialty Crop Block Grants. ( File photo )

Note on update: This story now contains registration information for the web seminar on grants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has $89 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants with a focus on local foods and finding new markets.

The program covers fruit, vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts and nursery crops (including flowers), according to a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service news release. Most of the funds, $72 million, will go to state agriculture departments, which will consider grant proposals.

Grant proposals are due at the end of May 24, and can be submitted at

Grants also go to local food and farmers markets initiatives, splitting $26 million in USDA funds, according to a news release. Half goes to the Farmers Market Promotion Program, for capacity building and community development; half goes to the Local Food Promotion Program for supply chain development.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has scheduled a web seminar on applying for the farmers markets/local food grants. The seminar is 2 p.m. Eastern March 28. To register, see the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program website. The grant proposals must be received by the end of the day May 7 at



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