LANSING — A $330 million USDA investment announced this month is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative aimed at helping agricultural producers and organizations affected by the fallout from COVID-19. The assistance includes $169.9 million for the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBGP) Program, $75 million for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, and about $80 million in payments to cotton producers.
USDA will also implement the Dairy Donation Program, which will facilitate the timely donation of dairy products to nonprofit organizations that distribute food to persons in need and prevent and minimize food waste.
The program encourages the dairy industry to process and donate surplus milk supplies as it moves through the spring surplus milk production season.
According to Audrey Sebolt, horticulture specialist for the Michigan Farm Bureau, the specialty-crop funding will lead to innovative projects for Michigan’s food sector while exploring new market opportunities.
“Michigan produces a very wide range of specialty crops and products, everything from hops to apples and Christmas trees to landscaping plants,” Sebolt said. “The additional Specialty Crop Block Grant funds will not only tackle production challenges our growers face but will also further promote our quality crops to consumers.”
For more information about grant eligibility, visit the SCBGP website. For more information on how to apply for the grants, visit www.grants.gov. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 11, 2021.
A listing of state contacts is available on the USDA website.
— Michigan Farm Bureau
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