The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has awarded 2018 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants to sixteen recipient organizations across Minnesota. The grant program aims to boost the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Minnesota through research, education, or market development projects, such as development of new plant varieties, marketing campaigns, and helping producers to comply with food safety requirements. A list of the funded projects is available online. They range from producing a food safety guide for specialty-crop growers to developing Deep Winter Greenhouse designs. There are also projects on asparagus, early apples, and goji berries, among other topics.