OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food & Forestry (ODAFF) is pleased to announce funding opportunities to enhance the specialty crop industry within the state thanks to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Services. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local, state, and federal government entities, for-profit organizations and colleges and universities.
“The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is a great opportunity to fund research, education and outreach projects that benefit Oklahoma’s specialty crop farmers” said Jason Harvey, an Agriculture Marketing Coordinator for ODAFF. “These funds also help improve the quality and availability of locally produced fruits and vegetables to consumers.”
To be eligible, project(s) must solely enhance the competitiveness of an Oklahoma specialty crop, and they must benefit a specialty crop segment as a whole. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.
Projects involving the following specialty crops are eligible: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, as well as nursery, floriculture and horticulture crops. Proposals may be for but not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, food safety and security, education, increased knowledge and consumption, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, and good manufacturing practices.
Grant proposals must be received by ODAFF no later than 5 p.m. on April 12, 2017.
Online resources include a Specialty Crop Grant Program application, grant application manual, and an evaluation form. Go to http://www.ag.ok.gov/mktdev/scg.htm for details.
—Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food & Forestry
For more articles out of Oklahoma, click here.