Ag & Industries News

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Applications Being Accepted

Mar 12, 2020

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – 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 Monday, April 27, 2020, 5 p.m. CST.

Specialty crops are defined by 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 program specifications. ADAI and a review committee of industry representatives will make application evaluation reviews and award recommendations to USDA. USDA has final approval for projects submitted.

The specialty crop block grant is a competitive grant process. The minimum amount awarded is $5,000.00. The maximum award to commodity groups, agriculture organizations, municipalities and agriculture nonprofits applicants is $25,000; the maximum amount for colleges and universities is $40,000.00

“Specialty crops play a significant role in Alabama Agriculture by meeting marketplace demand for locally grown products,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate. “The department looks forward to implementing the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and anticipates continued success.”

A conference call will be held on Thursday, March 19, 2020, regarding the writing, processing and submittal of the specialty crop block grant. Please contact Johnny Blackmon at 334/240-7257 or by email at, to RSVP and obtain the conference connection code. All prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the conference call.

Projects cannot begin until official agreements are signed, which is expected in October 2020.

For more detailed information, please visit or contact Johnny Blackmon at 334/240-7257.


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