California Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Awards

California received $22.9 million in 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds through USDA. The program provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will fund 69 projects, awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $450,000 to non-profit and for-profit organizations, government entities, and colleges and universities. Selected projects focus on increasing sales of specialty crops by leveraging the California Grown identity; increasing consumption by expanding the specialty crop consumer market, improving availability, and providing nutritional education for consumers; training growers to equip them for current and future challenges; and conducting research on conservation and environmental outcomes, pest control and disease, and organic and sustainable production practices.