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USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Applications Being Accepted

posted 03/12/2018


Friday, March 9, 2018 Contact: Amy Belcher 334-240-7126

USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Applications Being Accepted

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 April 20, 2018, 5 p.m. 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 program specifications. The ADAI and a review committee of industry representatives will make application evaluation reviews and award recommendations to USDA. The USDA has final approval for projects submitted.

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

“The department looks forward to implementing the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and we are privileged to be a part of this successful program,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan. “It provides an opportunity to expand the specialty crop industry in Alabama. I invite all who qualify to apply.”

A conference call will be held on March 20, 2018, regarding the writing, processing and submittal of the specialty crop 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 October 2018.

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