Grants to enhance the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops Produced in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SD DANR) is responsible for administering the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program in South Dakota.

Donor Name: South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SD DANR)

State: South Dakota

County: All Counties

Type of Grant: Grant

Deadline: 03/24/2023

Size of the Grant: over $300,000

Grant Period: 3 years


The purpose of the Fiscal Year 2023 South Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops produced in South Dakota. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). This will be accomplished through projects that increase specialty crop consumption, production, purchasing, market access and food safety knowledge and processes, improve pest and disease control and environmental sustainability, contribute to new seed variety development, and expand specialty crop research and development.


South Dakota is prioritizing three of the USDA AMS Outcomes for the FY23 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for proposals funded under this solicitation:

  • Increasing Access to Specialty Crops and Expanding Specialty Crop Production and Distribution
  • Increasing Consumption and Consumer Purchasing of Specialty Crops
  • Improve Environmental Sustainability of Specialty Crops

Funding Information

Pending federal funding, South Dakota estimates over $300,000 will be available for 2023 projects. Awards in previous years have ranged from $5,000 – $105,000. In 2022 DANR awarded five projects at an average of $78,286.

Project Period

This Request for Proposals will award funds for projects for FY2023, covering the project period of performance of September 30, 2023 – September 29, 2026.

Examples of Allowable Projects: 

  • A non-profit organization requests funds to demonstrate the viability of organic small fruit production and partners with Cooperative Extension to publicize the working model of diversification to other regional growers.
  • A single farmer implements food safety practices or models on his/her property to meet food safety requirements and conducts a field day and training services to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the methods.

Examples of Unallowable Projects:

  • A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop to make a profit or to expand production of a single business or organization.
  • A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership.

Eligible Applicants

This solicitation is open to non-Federal entities located in the state of South Dakota that are active participants or stakeholders in the South Dakota specialty crop industry. Examples of eligible applicants include State, Local, or Tribal governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, research institutions and institutions of higher education. For-profit businesses and individual producers may apply. However, SD DANR will not fund projects that solely benefit an individual producer, business, or other applicant entity. Additionally, the USDA AMS Terms and Conditions prohibit subrecipient use of awarded funds to compete unfairly with companies that provide equivalent products or services.

Eligible Project Proposals

USDA describes a project as set of interrelated tasks with a cohesive, distinct, specified, and defined goal. It follows a planned, organized approach over a fixed period of time and within specific limitations (cost, performance/quality, etc.). Additionally, it uses resources that are specifically allocated to the work of the project and usually involves a team of people. Projects are different from other ongoing operations in an organization because, unlike operations, projects have a definitive beginning and end – they have a limited duration.” Applicants who have or currently are performing a project funded through the SCBG will need to ensure any new proposal meets this criterion as a distinct proposed goal and set of activities. Projects proposing to continue past work must describe how they differ from and build on past efforts.

Proposals will not be funded if they:

  • Fail to directly address and demonstratively enhance the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops,
  • Focus on or primarily benefit ineligible crops, or
  • Solely benefit a single producer, organization, or business.

For more information, visit Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.