Specialty crop grant proposals due Feb. 27

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has set a Feb. 27 deadline for proposals to receive funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops. Grant proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. Feb. 27 by submitting them to MDA-grants@michigan.gov.

The grants offer a maximum award of $100,000 to boost the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crops, including promotion, marketing, research, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased knowledge and consumption and innovation. Also included are improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, and good manufacturing practices.

The state ag agency said funding priority will be given to projects that focus on market enhancement (market expansion and access and farm-to-institution); research (health and pest management and farm sustainability); and training and education (food safety, environmental sustainability and workforce/labor).

Those eligible for the grants include nonprofits; local, state and federal government entities; and for-profit organizations. The applicants must be legal entities recognized by the IRS, and applicants must reside in or conduct their business or organization in Michigan.

For information, application forms and submission criteria, visit  www.michigan.gov/mdardgrants.



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