CDFA Accepting Proposals for the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

September 14, 2017

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) opened the Phase I application period for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), with applications due October 13, 2017. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $300,000 in grant funding through the program as detailed below.

Each year CDFA conducts a two-phase competitive solicitation process to award funds to projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. The SCBGP is designed to support all sectors of California’s specialty crop industry and improve the performance of California specialty crops within local, domestic, and international markets. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Applicant Eligibility: Non-profits and for profit organizations; local, state, federal and tribal government entities; and public and private colleges and universities are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

Eligible Projects: Marketing and promotional projects; training and education projects; research projects that address environmental stewardship and conservation, plant health and pest management, and food safety.

Funding Levels: CDFA anticipates that up to $19 million will be awarded with grant amounts ranging from $25,000 to $300,000 per project.

Cost Sharing Requirement: Cost sharing is not a requirement of the SCBGP, however, it is encouraged and may serve as evidence to demonstrate industry commitment to, or support for, the project. 

Duration: The maximum grant duration is two years, six months (November 1, 2018 – April 30, 2021).  

Applications are due on October 13, 2017. The invitation to submit Phase II grant proposals are expected to be announced January 2018. Phase I of the process begins with the submission of concept proposals, which undergo both an administrative review and a technical review. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a detailed grant proposal in Phase II of the process. There is no limit on the amount of concept proposals applicants may submit, however, each concept proposal should be for a wholly unique project.

Authorization for this program was established under the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 and continues under authorization from the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill”). The 2014 Farm Bill contains provisions for the continuation of this program in 2018 and beyond; however, as of the date of this publication, Congress has not passed a new Farm Bill or a continuing budget resolution to reauthorize funding for the program. While CDFA anticipates continued funding for the program as described in the 2014 Farm Bill, grant awards will only be made if continuing authorization for the program is established and funds are made available by USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service.

The full Request for Concept Proposals can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison & Company’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530.893.4764. 

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