DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is now accepting applications for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. To qualify, the grants must be used to support projects that raise awareness about or drive demand for specialty crops grown in Iowa.
“Specialty crop block grants are a win-win for producers, distributors and consumers,” said Secretary Naig. “The programs they support will help strengthen local distribution channels and grow markets for Iowa producers, while also making it easier for consumers to buy products grown right here in Iowa.”
Eligible specialty crops include both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.
Successful grant applications should explain how projects will improve specialty crop production through marketing and promotions, research and development, expanding availability and access to specialty crops, and addressing local, regional and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers. All projects must have an educational component. Preference will be given to projects that have the potential to significantly expand, enhance and improve production and demand.
Iowa agencies, universities, institutions, producers, industry associations and community-based organizations are eligible to apply. Single organizations, institutions and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. Grant applications for projects that directly benefit a particular product or generate a profit for a single organization, institution or individual will not be awarded.
Awardees may receive up to $24,000, and projects can have a duration of up to 30 months.
Proposals must be received by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on or before 4 p.m. CT on March 11, 2022. For more information, visit the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program website.
The Department is establishing a review committee to help evaluate and make recommendations on the submitted grant proposals. Those interested in participating in the review committee should be knowledgeable about specialty crops and/or have grant writing or grant management experience, as well as be able to devote time to complete the review process. Additional information about reviewer responsibilities, meeting dates and an application form can be found at: bit.ly/SpecialtyCropBlockGrantProgramInformation. Applications to participate in the review committee are due Feb. 18, 2022 by 4 p.m. CT.
— Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship