ANNAPOLIS, MD– The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting proposals for theSpecialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), a reimbursement grant program aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Maryland’s specialty crops.MDAanticipates that approximately $350,000 will be available in SCBGP funds.

The department is seeking applications from eligible non-profit organizations, government entities, for-profit companies, and other organizations for projects that aim to promote or enhance the production of and access to Maryland specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, honey, hops, grapes, maple syrup, Christmas trees, and nursery crops.

Competitive grants will be awarded for projects with a minimum of $15,000. In the past, Maryland SCBGP grants have ranged from $15,000–$140,000. SCBGP funds will be awarded for projects lasting up to two years in duration and that conclude by Nov. 30, 2023.

Projects that focus on food safety, market enhancement, and research will be given priority. Proposals will be evaluated based on their potential for the greatest impact on Maryland specialty crop producers.

Applicants must be a Maryland resident or their business or educational affiliation must be in Maryland. New this year, proposals can be completed online through Maryland OneStop. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. All applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by the SCBGP program manager and SCBGP Review Committee.

MDA administers Maryland’s SCBGP funding. Funding is made available by the U.S. Farm Bill through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

For questions about Maryland’s SCBGP and the application process, please contact Karen Fedor at karen.fedor@maryland.gov or 410-841-5773. More information about Maryland’s SCBGP can be found on the department’s website.


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