Helena, Mont., Following an official announcement by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Montana agriculture will now have $1.3 million in federal grant funding available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. With the announcement of additional funding available, the Montana Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline to submit an application to April 22, 2015.
“With this additional funding from USDA, Montana can continue to develop specialty crops grown in our state, expand their markets, and create jobs. Based on the announcement, the department is going to give applicants some additional time to apply,” said Department Director Ron de Yong.
Montana’s SCBG projects should enhance the competitiveness of Montana specialty crops. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, peas, lentils, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. A Montana specific list of specialty crops is available on the program’s website. All grants must be approved by the State of Montana and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Eligible projects include education on the value of specialty crops, improving efficiency of distribution systems, assisting entities in the development of good agricultural practices, pest and disease control, improving variety development, and sustainable production practices. See a complete description of eligible and previously-funded projects at http://agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Development/GrantsLoans/SCBG/Grant_Proposal.html.
State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts.
Grant proposals are due to the Montana Department of Agriculture by 2:00 p.m. MST on April 22, 2015. For more information, eligibility guidelines, technical assistance and resources, visit agr.mt.gov/agr/Producer/GrantsLoans/SCBG or contact Jim Auer, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Manager, at (406) 444-5424.
Source: Montana Department of Agriculture