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Funds Available for Specialty Crop Advancement
South Dakota Ag Connection - 02/14/2020

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announced that funds will be available for Specialty Crop Block Grants.

Grant funds can be used for marketing, promotion, research, food safety, nutrition, distribution, and best management practices to advance the specialty crop industry. Specialty crops are generally defined as fruits, nuts, vegetables, honey, and some turf and ornamental crops.

A full list of specialty crops is also available on the USDA website.

"These grants give farmers a way to increase the demand for the specialty crops they are already growing," said South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) Grant and Loan Specialist Nicole Prince. "This year's projects are maximizing the value of specialty crops and contributing to South Dakota's greater agricultural economy."

Stakeholders have identified this year's top priorities as enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased sales, increased access, and greater capacity as well as sustainable practices of specialty crop production resulting in increased yield, reduced inputs, increased efficiency, increased economic return, and/or conservation or resources.

The deadline for applications is April 3. This year, SDDA is asking for proposals prior to USDA announcement of funding, so applicants should base their budgets on their project needs. Projects that are selected for funding will have the opportunity to meet with the review team and make additional adjustments to the budget based on the grant funding awarded to the state.

Applications should be submitted via email to nicole.prince@state.sd.us and kim.paxton@state.sd.us, in Word format only by April 3.

For additional information, please contact Nicole Prince, Grant and Loan Specialist, at 605-773-5436 or SDDA's Office at 523 E Capitol Ave., Pierre.

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