MDA Announces New Specialty Crop Grant Program


Application Deadline is May 19

ANNAPOLIS (March 23, 2010) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) recently announced a grant program to fund projects that solely enhances the competitiveness of specialty crops. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was established by the 2008 Farm Bill.

MDA has developed a competitive grant process to award these federal funds in 2010. The Department will be administering funds totaling $387,454 for the development of projects that will benefit Maryland’s specialty crop producers. Of this amount, MDA will award Producer Innovation grants for projects between $5,000 and $20,000. Food Safety and Marketing with Maryland’s Best grants will be awarded for projects with a minimum level of $25,000. MDA intends to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Maryland specialty crop producers in relation to each dollar spent.

Specialty crops are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. Visit www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0 for a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops.

MDA is seeking applications from eligible non-profit organizations, government entities, for-profit and organizations for projects that aim to promote or enhance the production of and access to Maryland specialty crops. Applicants must reside or their business or educational affiliation must be in Maryland.

Electronic grant applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on May 19, 2010. Paper applications must be postmarked by May 19, 2010. MDA will conduct a conference call on March 30 to go over details of the program for interested applicants. For questions about the grant application, to register for the conference call, or to download the application, visit www.mda.state.md.us/pdf/specialtycrop.pdf, or contact Karen Fedor at FedorKM(at)mda.state.md.us or 410-841-5773.

Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA)

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