The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is pleased to announce the competitive solicitation process to award the 2024 USDA/AMS (Agricultural Marketing Service) Specialty Crop Block Program grant (SCBGP).
Donor Name: Georgia Department of Agriculture
County: All Counties
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant: $10,000 to $100,000
Grant Duration: 3 Years
The purpose of the SCBGP is to provide funding for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Georgia. Your proposal must focus on research, education, or marketing, and it must benefit the specialty crop industry.
Specialty crops eligible for the SCBGP are: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, and nursery and greenhouse crops (including floriculture).
The following have been identified as funding priorities for the SCBGP for Georgia:
- Increasing consumption of specialty crops in Georgia’s schools by expanding child knowledge of and improving access to the nutritional benefits of specialty crops;
- Enhancing specialty crop food safety, particularly in regard to helping farmers/growers/producers prepare for and comply with the provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA);
- Assisting all entities in the specialty crop production/distribution chain in developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors;
- Research projects, including those which focus on helping specialty crop growers reduce the financial costs and/or environmental impact of their operations, including improved pest and disease management techniques, efficient water management, integrated pest management, and/or sustainable production;
- Developing and researching new and improved specialty crop varieties that are better adapted to Georgia’s soils and climate and/or result in longer shelf-life;
- Increasing sales and marketability and driving demand for commercially grown specialty crops.
Individual project award funding requests require a minimum request of $20,000 up to a maximum of $100,000. Grants may be applied-for in excess of $100,000 for certain marketing projects, but must be approved by GDA (by email) in advance of submission. Awarded projects will have up to 3 years to complete the requirements of the grant: There are no extensions.
Proposals will be accepted only from GEORGIA-based: IRS-designated 501(c)(3) current non-profit organizations, commodity commissions, grower associations, state and local government entities, and colleges and universities. All entities must head-quartered within Georgia. Individuals and for-profit organizations (businesses) are not eligible to apply, per GDA restrictions.
- Non-profit organizations that have not previously received the SCBGP in Georgia must partner with a Principal Investigator (PI) from a Georgia college or university, preferably from either of Georgia’s Land Grant institutions (UGA or FVSU). Because this is a very complicated grant to administer, previous experience with federal grants will factor greatly in Concept Proposal/application scoring, as will perceived administrative capacity, as well as previous SCBGP grant administrative performance (if applicable). If an organization/administrator was awarded a SCBGP grant in the past and did not spend all of its funds, did not follow grant instructions regarding pre-approval of funds, and/or was late with annual reports, it is very unlikely that it will be funded again.
- University researchers may submit no more than one Concept Proposal for consideration for which they may be listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or no more than one Concept Proposal for consideration for which they can be listed as the co-PI. If a researcher has a colleague submit their proposal as the PI and it’s later discovered that this was done to circumvent the above limit, the proposal/application will be disqualified. Researchers should keep in mind that it is unusual for the same researcher to be funded over multiple years and very rarely is a given crop/commodity funded more than once in a given year (For example: If 3 researchers submit apple projects, it’s quite likely that only 1 will be funded, if at all). Researchers (other than tree nut) should include in their proposals a plan to present the findings of their SCBG project at the annual SERFVG Conference, held each January. If you have submitted the same project to GDA twice in the past and it has not been funded, it cannot be submitted again: You are welcome to submit a new project for consideration. If you were awarded a SCBGP grant in the past and did not spend all of your funds, did not follow your project’s budget plan, and/or submitted reports late, it is very unlikely that you will be funded again. Again, attempts to circumvent this by having another researcher submit your proposal will lead to proposal disqualification.
For more information, visit GDA.