Interested in growing hops, producing vegetables or harvesting honey? Those ideas have all been previously funded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
People involved in the specialty crop industry in South Dakota can now apply for select federal funding of projects that enhance the competitiveness of fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops and horticulture.
The funds can be used for projects that involve research, food safety, nutrition, promotion, distribution, best management procedures and a variety of other uses to advance the specialty crop industry in South Dakota. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) encourages applicants to develop projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.
"These funds provide support for this growing segment of South Dakota agriculture," said state Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones. "We look forward to funding projects that have a broad reach and impact across this sector of the industry."
SDDA has established the following priority areas for projects in South Dakota:
local foods initiatives
promoting specialty crops to institutions
Applications may be submitted for projects outside of the priority areas. All applications are due to SDDA by April 2.
The Federal funds are part of the Specialty Crop Block Grant, a program funded in the 2008 Farm Bill.
For program guidelines, application forms, or other Specialty Crop Block Grant Program information, call SDDA at 605-626-3272 or visit http://sdda.sd.gov.
Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 80,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.
Source: SD Department of Agriculture