SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) would like to remind you that the application period for the H.R.133 Consolidated Appropriations Act Funding is coming to a close. Please see the request for proposals below for more information.
The ODA is now accepting proposals for project ideas as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) for H.R.133 Consolidated Appropriations Act Funding.
An additional $97 million was awarded to the SCBGP on a nationwide scale in the H.R.133 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Congress has provided this funding due to COVID-19 impacts on the food system. These additional funds are referred to as H.R. 133 Stimulus Funding throughout this Request for Applications (RFA).
For the H.R.133 funding SCBGP Request for Proposals, ODA has a single-phase process known as the Grant Proposal Application. ODA is requesting 15-page grant proposals from applicants describing their proposed projects. Submissions should be turned in online and must be received by Wednesday, June 30th, 2021, at noon Pacific Standard Time.
There are a few changes from the regular SCBGP funding with the H.R.133 funding. They are as follows:
- Projects must have a focus on dealing with COVID-19 impacts
- Research is not allowed in this round of funding but is encouraged to apply in December to the normal set of funds
- Projects can run for up to three years
- Projects can ask for funding $25,000 too $200,000
Approximately $2 million is available to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, non-profits, for-profits, and local government agencies in Oregon. Specialty crops are defined as commonly recognized fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. Oregon ranks in the top ten nationwide in the production of specialty crops.
ODA will offer online training to provide applicants with an in-depth look at the program and explain the grant writing process step-by-step. Details, including the time and date for the online training, are posted on ODA’s website. https://oda.direct/
Based on a survey of specialty crop producers, associations, commissions, and other stakeholders to determine priority needs, the following SCBGP funding priorities have been identified.
- Market Development and Access for international, regional, domestic, and local/farm direct markets
- Food safety compliance and traceability
- Cross commodity collaboration
- Addressing the regulatory burden
- On-farm labor needs, workforce programs, or tools
- Productivity enhancements, innovation, value-added products
- Agriculture and food-related priorities identified by Oregon Solutions Network Regional Solutions Centers
Projects not addressing one of the identified priorities are still eligible for funding as long as they meet all other program requirements. Details of the funding priorities can be found at https://oda.direct/
In July 2021, an industry advisory committee will evaluate proposals and make recommendations to ODA Director Alexis Taylor to select the top-ranked applicants. Selected applicants will be submitted to USDA in the Oregon State Plan Application. Projects chosen to receive funding will be announced by January 2022.
ODA and the advisory committee look for innovative three-year proposals with a suggested funding range of $25,000 to $200,000. They encourage interested parties to work regionally to submit collaborative project proposals that benefit Oregon growers and processors and partners in other states that share common specialty crops. Those who have received specialty crop grant funds in the past are also encouraged to apply, whether they are interested in building on an existing project or proposing a new project.
Match funding is not a requirement of this program; however, applicants are highly encouraged to provide some level of match to show the project’s importance and value and show sustainability beyond SCBGP funds.
ODA staff is available to provide applicants directions on submitting grant proposal applications. Other information is available at https://oda.direct/SCBGP or by contacting ODAs’ Market Access and Certification Program (503) 986-6473.
— Oregon Department of Agriculture
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