Monday, November 10, 2008

Department of Agriculture Offers Specialty Crop Growers Funds to Enhance their Competitiveness

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that organizations or groups in Missouri interested in enhancing the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crop industry are asked to submit grant proposals. Some examples of these proposals can include research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs and education.

The one-year grants are administered by MDA through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Marketing Service Specialty Crop Block grant program.“Specialty crops continue to be an important and growing segment of our state’s agriculture industry,” said Don Steen, director of MDA.

“By seeking new ways to enhance the competitiveness of those markets, Missouri farmers can look for new ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, address environmental concerns, increase food safety or increase marketing. We encourage groups to collaborate and partner with producers, industry groups and other organizations to maximize the use of the funds available.”

Approximately $90,000 total is available for the grants. Collaboration and partnerships between groups submitting proposals are encouraged and will be given priority. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Jan. 5, 2009.

USDA defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). For more information about eligible specialty crops, grant applications or guidelines, visit or call (866) 466-8283.

No comments: