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Minnesota opens $1.25M specialty crop grant applications
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/12/2024

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), designed to elevate the market presence and competitiveness of Minnesota-grown specialty crops. $1.25 million in grant funding is up for grabs, aimed at projects that will enhance marketing, research, accessibility, and tackle the pressing challenges facing specialty crop producers in the state.

This initiative, funded annually through a USDA Block Grant under the Farm Bill, targets a wide array of specialty crops including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, among others.

The program seeks to distribute grants ranging from $20,000 to $125,000 through a competitive review process, encouraging applications from a diverse group of stakeholders within Minnesota agriculture.

Eligible applicants include nonprofits, producer organizations, government and tribal organizations, universities, and other agricultural institutions. Individual producers and for-profit entities with projects benefiting the sector at large are also welcome to apply.

The SCBGP underscores the importance of specialty crops to Minnesota's agricultural economy, aiming to address sector-specific needs through targeted financial support. These efforts reflect the MDA's commitment to fostering innovation, enhancing market opportunities both domestically and abroad, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the specialty crop industry.

Applications for the 2024 funding cycle must be submitted by 4 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, March 21, 2024. Prospective applicants can find detailed program information, application materials, and insights into previously funded projects on the MDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program web page.
This grant opportunity represents a critical resource for those working within the specialty crop sector in Minnesota, offering financial assistance to projects that promise to make a significant impact on the industry's growth and competitiveness.

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