Grants Available for CA Organizations Promoting Specialty Crops

CDFA Accepting Applications for Phase I of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program: Due October 23, 2020

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for Phase I of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) with funding levels ranging from $50,000 $450,000; projects submitted to the Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations Program range from $25,000 to $100,000. The total estimated funding available for the 2021 SCBGP is $22 million.

Each year CDFA conducts a two-phase competitive solicitation process to award funds to projects that 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).

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. Only non-profits and tribal governments may apply to the Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations Program.

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? SCBGP projects can focus on the marketing and promotion of specialty crops, education and training of current and next generation specialty crop farmers, and research projects in relation to environmental stewardship, conservation, plant health, and pest management for specialty crops. In general, organizations can spend grant funds on personnel costs, promotional campaign costs, and costs for educational trainings and events, among other costs.

What are the funding levels for the 2021 SCBGP? CDFA anticipates that up to $22 million will be awarded with grant amounts ranging from $50,000 $450,000 per project. Projects submitted to the Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations Program range from $25,000 to $100,000.

Is there a cost-sharing/match 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.

What is the grant duration? The maximum grant duration is two years, six months (November 1, 2021 – April 30, 2024). Projects submitted to the Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations Program may last up to two years.

What is the award timeline? Applications are due on October 23, 2020 by 5 pm PT. The invitation to submit Phase II grant proposals are expected to be announced January 2021. 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. Phase II awardees are usually announced in September and their projects begin November 1. There is no limit on the amount of Phase I proposals applicants may submit, however, each concept proposal should be for a wholly unique project.

The full Request for Concept 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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