Specialty crop grants to be awarded

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By The Staff

Funding is available for projects that enhance the competitiveness of Kentucky’s specialty crop industries, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has announced.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for up to $75,000 for specialty crop projects. Grants will be awarded through a competitive process.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruit, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.

Applications for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. Projects may last up to three years, but the timeline must be justified in the proposal, and projects of up to two years are preferred. Matching funds are highly encouraged but not required.

Entities eligible for the specialty crop grants include eligible commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, producers, municipalities, state agencies and agriculture-related nonprofit organizations.

Applications must be submitted to the KDA’s Office of Agricultural Marketing and Product Promotion by June 8. Grant awards are expected to be announced in October. A selection committee of specialty crop industry representatives and KDA staff will review the applications and award the grants.

The grant program is funded by a $273,434.98 block grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

For more information, go to http://www.kyagr.com/marketing/farmmarket.htm or contact Kristen Branscum, director of the Division of Value-Added Plant Production, at (502) 564-4983 or kristen.branscum@ky.gov.