The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is asking for project proposals from Indiana’s specialty crop industry to present for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The ISDA says proposals must “enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Indiana,” including fruits, vegetables and nursery crops.
“Indiana is a thriving home to many agricultural endeavors, which includes producing a variety of outstanding specialty crops,” said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. “This funding opportunity will allow our specialty crop industry the ability to advance through research, market development, and education and training.”
The grant program offers federal funding each year to the state departments of agriculture to support specialty crop industries. The ISDA says the state’s allocation amount is unknown at this time.
Applicants can be nonprofit and for-profit organizations, governments and public or private colleges and universities. The ISDA says applicants should focus their projects on issues such as enhancing food safety, pest and disease control, developing organic and sustainable production practices, and developing local and regional food systems.
Projects must identify at least one expected measurable outcome that specifically demonstrates the project’s impact on enhancing the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops.
ISDA’s funding priority will focus on three main areas that include:
- Funding Area I: Market Enhancement
- Funding Area II: Access, Education and Training
- Funding Area III: Research
“It is more important now than ever to leverage these financial opportunities, and I want to encourage all eligible businesses or organizations to apply,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “These dollars will go a long way in ensuring Indiana’s robust specialty crop sector remains thriving for years to come.”
The ISDA says applications are due by March 25. Proposals must be submitted online through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s Grants Management System.
You can find more information by clicking here.