The Montana Department of Agriculture is pleased to present the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG).
Donor Name: Montana 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 this program is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana. For purposes of the program, specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, peas and lentils, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).
The following priorities have been adopted by MDA specific to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. These priorities are used to guide the MDA Director in making decisions on funding recommendations.
- Providing Farmer Education on Specialty Crop(s)
- Planning and Supporting Infrastructures that create or support Specialty Crop(s)
- Cost-sharing and cooperative models for storage
- Distribution system efficiency, cost-savings and resiliency
- Regional and state processing infrastructure planning
- Farm to Institute
- Supporting Research in the Areas of Specialty Crop(s)
- Building Consumer and Buyer Relationships
- Regional and statewide education and marketing efforts around specialty crop products
- Marketing opportunities to connect producers and buyers
- Strengthening Producer Networks and Associations
- Representing a Geographic Diversity of Projects across the State, with Rural Consideration.
Funding amount requested must be a minimum of $25,000; there is no maximum funding on a project.
Proposed projects should start no earlier than September 30, 2024 and end no later than September 29, 2027.
USDA encourages entities to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:
- Enhancing food safety;
- Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27), for example, developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems (including USDA GroupGAP) for small farmers, packers and processors;
- Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
- Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
- Pest and disease control;
- Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
- Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
Examples of Acceptable Projects
- A non-profit organization requests funds to conduct an advertising campaign that will benefit its specialty crop members.
- A single farmer erects high tunnels on his/her property to extend the growing season of tomatoes and lettuce and conducts a field day and farm tour to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the production methods.
- Eligibility Applicants
- State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Regional or multi-state projects may be considered.
- Enhance Specialty Crops
- To be eligible for a grant, the project(s) must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets and benefit crops grown in Montana.
- Multiple Beneficiaries
- MDA will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. In addition, recipients and subrecipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services.
- Limit on Active Projects, Past Performance Considered
- The SCBG program reserves the right to limit the number of active projects for any grant recipient and project lead. Limiting the number of projects could be for practical reasons, such as the PI/project lead already determined to be at 1.0 FTE on current SCBG projects awarded. An applicant may also be removed from competition in the screening stage if they previously received funding from MDA and failed to adequately deliver on the conditions of that funding. Failure to perform may include, but is not limited to:
- Inability to responsibly manage funds
- Inability to adhere to reporting requirements
- Failure to provide agreed upon deliverables.
For more information, visit MDA.