Special Round of CA Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding Available

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for a special round of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP H.R. 133), which will be funded with H.R. 133 Stimulus Funding. Applicants can apply for project costs of $250,000 to $1,000,000 and applications are due by August 8, 2021.

Each year CDFA conducts a two-phase competitive solicitation process to award funds to projects that enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. In addition to regular SCBGP funding, additional one-time SCBGP funding was allocated to state departments of agriculture under House Resolution 133. CDFA received approximately $31.5 million and is now planning to award $10 million to projects enhancing the competitiveness of California specialty crops through a new competitive SCBGP application process.

What is the purpose of the SCBGP? 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).

Who is eligible to apply for the SCBGP? Eligible applicants include: non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments; and public or private colleges and universities. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

This program is designated for projects exclusively in the state of California. However, other state departments of agriculture also administer specialty crop block grant programs. To find out if your state has a program click here.

What projects are eligible for this program? CDFA has developed four project types for SCBGP H.R. 133 grant proposals:

  • Projects that promote economic recovery from COVID-19;
  • Projects that assist specialty crop farmers in adapting to ongoing impacts of COVID-19;
  • Projects that address nutrition and access issues in those communities most impacted by COVID-19; and  
  • Projects that secure the long-term competitiveness of California specialty crops.

What are the funding levels for the SCBGP H.R. 133? CDFA anticipates that up to $10 million will be awarded with grant amounts ranging from $250,000 to $1,000,000 per project.

Is there a cost-sharing/match requirement? There is no cost-sharing/match requirement.  

What is the grant duration? The maximum grant duration is three years (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2024).

What is the award timeline? Applications are due on August 8, 2021 by 5 pm PT. The first phase of the process begins with the submission of proposals to the CDFA, which undergo both an administrative review and a technical review. The invitation to submit full proposals are expected to be announced September 2021. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed, full grant proposal to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in November 2021. USDA will announce awardees by January 2022 in order for projects to begin on January 1, 2022.

The full Request for Proposals can be found here.

Morrison has extensive experience writing successful applications for clients through this program. For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’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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