FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Georgia Department of Agriculture announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for 2014
The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is pleased to announce the competitive solicitation process to award the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects that “enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.” Specialty crops are defined as: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops, including floriculture. Please see specific listing of all eligible crops at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgp.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will make grant funding available, with Georgia’s share being approximately $1.2 million.
“The goal of this grant program is to help fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Georgia’s specialty crop producers, in relation to each dollar spent,” said Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We encourage organizations such as nonprofits, commodity commissions, associations, state and local government entities and colleges and universities to consider applying.”
Note that USDA-AMS rules state: 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. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.
“Once all applications are submitted to GDA, each one will be carefully reviewed and evaluated by a Review Committee,” said Jeanne Maxwell, Grants Administrator for the Department. “Then, all Department-approved projects will be combined and written as one grant submission to the USDA/AMS. Upon approval from USDA, we will notify applicants of their status, which we expect to be in September 2014.”
Please refer to the links available on the GDA grants webpage located at www.agr.georgia.gov/grants.aspx for the grant application, guidelines, and additional information. For additional questions please contact Jeanne Maxwell at Jeanne.Maxwell@agr.georgia.gov or 404-657-1584.
About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.