USDA Awards Specialty Crop Grant Funding

USDA is investing more than $243 million in grants through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative grants program. A total of $169.9 million in non-competitive SCBGP funding will go to the departments of agriculture in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories, to be used for sub-grants for activities and programs to increase demand for agricultural goods and address issues facing the specialty crop industry including food safety, plant pests and disease, research, education, and marketing and promotion. Meanwhile, the 21 grants through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) program will help address critical challenges facing conventional and organic food and agricultural production systems across the specialty crop industry. Examples from this round of funding include strawberry transplant health, high tunnel growing systems, and food safety for specialty crops.