Grant Funds Available for Oregon’s Specialty Crops

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) opened the application period for their Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) with funding levels ranging from $25,000 $175,000. The deadline is January 31, 2024.

The SCBGP is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Oregon specialty crops within local, domestic, and international markets. Specialty crops include commonly recognized fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

ODA’s intent is to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Oregon specialty crop producers in relation to each dollar spent.

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 for proposals that solely benefit the production of and access to Oregon specialty crops.

Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. Furthermore, ODA encourages the development of multi-state partnerships that provide solutions to problems that cross state boundaries such as addressing good agricultural practices, food safety, and research on crop productivity or quality, among others.

What projects are eligible for this program? Marketing and promotional projects, training and education projects, and research projects are all eligible.

Project priorities for the Oregon SCBGP for FY 2024 include:

  1. Market development and access (international, and local/farm-direct, regional and domestic markets).
  2. On-farm labor needs, connecting growers with hiring resources, providing technical information about laws and compliance, or developing mechanization or methodologies for routine or repetitive labor demands. Create and implement workforce training programs or tools to maintain the technical skills required to keep the Oregon specialty crops sector competitive.
  3. Promoting cross commodity collaboration on specialty crop projects that address industry wide issues faced by growers/producers. Assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain through transferable results that may enhancing market access and increase sales by addressing food safety, sustainability, or other outcomes.
  4. Investing in specialty crop research toward food safety compliance and traceability through implementation of practices, trainings, or systems development and preparation for and/or assistance in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
  5. Investing in projects that address regulatory burden on specialty crop growers. Connecting growers with resources, providing technical information about laws and compliance, or developing mechanization or methodologies for routine or repetitive laws and compliance.
  6. Investing in projects that address productivity enhancements, innovation, value added products and other production efficiencies for specialty crops.
  7. Agriculture and food-related priorities identified by Oregon Solutions Network Regional Solutions Centers to address rural economic development in Oregon. Projects must also comply with one or more of the required previously listed program priorities.

What are the funding levels for the 2024 SCBGP? Award requests may range from $25,000 to $175,000 per project.

Is there a cost-sharing/match requirement? Cost sharing is not a requirement of the SCBGP, however, it is strongly encouraged to show the importance and value of the project, as well as demonstrate sustainability beyond SCBGP funds.

What is the grant duration? Projects must be completed within two years and six months of its start date.

What is the anticipated award timeline? Applications are due on January 31, 2024 by 12:00pm PT.

Awards will be announced in September 2024 and projects may begin as early as October 2024.

The full SCBGP Program Guidelines 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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