PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) is pleased to announce Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds are available for specialty crop advancement. The application deadline is March 31, 2021.

Grant funds can be used for marketing, promotion, research, food safety, nutrition, distribution, and best management practices to advance the specialty crop industry. Specialty crops are generally defined as fruits, nuts, vegetables, honey, and some turf and ornamental crops. A full list of specialty crops is available on USDA’s website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop.

SDDA is seeking proposals prior to USDA’s announcement of funding, so applicants should base their budgets on specific project needs. Projects selected for funding will have the opportunity to meet with the review team and make additional adjustments to their project budget based on grant funds awarded to SDDA.

Applications (Project Profile Template) are available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/apply and must be submitted via email in Microsoft Word Document format to nicole.prince@state.sd.us and kim.paxton@state.sd.us by March 31, 2021.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program’s top priorities are enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased sales, increased access, and greater capacity as well as sustainable practices of specialty crop production resulting in increased yield, reduced inputs, increased efficiency, increased economic return, and/or conservation or resources.

For additional information, please contact Nicole Prince Edwards, Grant and Loan Specialist, at 605-773-5436 or SDDA’s Office at 523 E Capitol Ave Pierre, SD 57501.

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