Monday, March 6, 2017                                                                 Contact: Amy Belcher 334-240-7126

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Applications Being Accepted for State of Alabama


Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is accepting grant applications for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets. The application deadline for these specialty crop block grants through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is May 19, 2017, 5:00 P.M. Central Standard Time (CST).

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture (including maple syrup and honey) and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are all eligible for this grant program, provided their proposals meet all the specifications. The USDA has final approval for projects submitted. The ADAI and a review committee of industry representatives will make the application evaluation review and award recommendations to USDA.

The specialty crops block grant is a competitive grant process. The maximum award to any applicant is $25,000; the minimum, $5,000.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan stated, “The department looks forward to implementing the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and we are privileged to be a part of this successful program which provides an opportunity to expand the specialty crop industry in Alabama to eligible and worthy recipients.  I invite all who qualify to apply.”


A conference call will take place on March 22, 2017, regarding the writing, processing and submittal of the specialty crop grant. Please contact Johnny Blackmon at 334-240-7257 or by email at if you are interested in participating in this call. All prospective applicants are encouraged to participate in the conference call.

Projects cannot begin until the USDA has made its official award announcement, expected by October 2017.

For more detailed information please visit

or contact Johnny Blackmon at 334-240-7257. All applicants must complete and submit documentation as related to the newly enacted Alabama Immigration Law.