Washington Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Open for Applications

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is now accepting concept proposals for its 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is meant to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. Concept proposals are due January 13, 2023, with full phase invitations released in February for a March 15, 2023 deadline.

What are the funding priorities?

The 2023 SCBGP funding priorities in no ranking order are:

  • Control Pests and Diseases
  • Develop and Enhance Domestic and International Markets
  • Improve Production Practices through Innovative Technologies
  • Increase the Nutritional Knowledge and Consumption of Specialty Crops
  • Preserve and Increase Water Availability
  • Environmental Stewardship, Conservation, and Climate Smart Agriculture

Projects that address one of the above funding priorities will be able to receive up to 5 points for their selected funding priority. Projects that do not address one of the above priorities will not receive any points for this category, however, they are still eligible for funding, as long as they meet all of the other program requirements.

What is the funding and duration?

WSDA anticipates receiving approximately $4.7 million to award to projects enhancing the competitiveness of Washington’s specialty crops. Grant requests can range from $25,000 to $250,000. The maximum grant period for each award is three (3) years. The projects will start no earlier than September 30, 2023 and end no later than September 29, 2026. Funding is contingent upon passage of a Farm Bill and available funding from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA, AMS).

Who is eligible to apply?

Non-profit organizations; local, state, federal government entities, including tribal governments; and public or private colleges and universities, and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible to apply. The project must clearly and directly impact Washington state specialty crop producers or processors and must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The SCBGP will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. This program will not provide funds to start or expand a farm or other business venture.

Entities that engage in projects that support domestic farmers/markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities, and local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products may be more relevant for other federal grant programs and should consider submitting those projects to the Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Food Promotion Program.

The full Request for Proposals can be found here.

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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