USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant funds will be available next year to directly support New Jersey's specialty crop industry organizations beginning in January 2015. The NJ Department of Agriculture is requesting that interested organizations representing New Jersey's specialty crop industry submit project proposals for consideration for this funding.
For the purpose of this grant program, specialty crops are defined as: vegetables, fruits, including grapes for wine, nuts, horticultural products including Christmas trees, honey, herbs, potatoes, sweet corn and other similar crops.
Agricultural NOT eligible include but are not limited to:feed crops, food grains, livestock, dairy and poultry products including eggs, range grasses and oilseed crops.
To be eligible for a grant, projects must "enhance the competitiveness" of specialty crops and might include, but are not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, "buy local" programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development and developing cooperatives.
2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant Application
The deadline for 2015 project applications to the NJ Department of Agriculture is April 30, 2014.
All proposed projects will be required to follow a standardized format and comply with the USDA Guidelines.
Although the 2015 Specialty Crop Block Grant program has been approved for funding, the federal budget sequestration has caused a delay in U.S.D.A.’s official announcement of each State’s grant allocation. At this time all Specialty Crop Block Grant Program applications to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture are to be considered tentative pending the publication of the funding allocation in a Notice of Funding Availability in the federal registry.
If you have any questions, contact:
NJDA Economic Development Representative