Grant Funding Available for Washington’s Specialty Crops

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) with funding levels ranging from $25,000 $250,000. Applications are due January 31, 2021.

What is the purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program? The SCBGP is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Washington 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). WSDA’s intent is to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Washington 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 Washington 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, WSDA 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 Washington SCBGP for FY 2022 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 Washington 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 Washington Solutions Network Regional Solutions Centers to address rural economic development in Washington. Projects must also comply with one or more of the required previously listed program priorities.

What are the funding levels for the 2022 SCBGP? Grant requests can range from $25,000 to $250,000.

Is there a cost-sharing/match requirement? Cost-sharing is not specific in the request for applications.

What is the grant duration? Projects must be completed within three years of its start date.

What is the anticipated award timeline? Applications are due on January 31, 2021 at 12:00pm PT. Applicants will be notified in February 2022 if they have been invited to submit an application for the Full Phase. Final awards will be announced in September and October 2022 and projects may begin as early as October 2022.

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 or call us at 530-893-4764.


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