The U.S. The Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is offering a program to promote rural economic communities and climate-resilient landscapes. It will focus on specialty crop issues on the regional and national levels in the areas of food safety, marketing and promotion, research, investigations on pests and diseases, and crop-specific projects addressing various common issues. No federal cost sharing or matching is required.
According to the USDA’s Risk Management Agency, horticulture nursery crops, dried fruits, tree nuts (pistachios, almonds, walnuts, etc.), and various fruits and vegetables (avocados, apples, cherries, peppers, tomatoes, olives, onions, lemons, etc.) are all examples of specialty crops.1 While labor-intensive, producers of specialty crops are often able to sell in only niche markets or via contracts. Specialty crops do not share the same publicly available benchmark prices nor the same agriculture policies as commodity crops like corn and soybeans.2
Through this program, producers will be able to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops within the United States and its territories in either domestic or international markets. Bret Erickson, the senior vice president of Little Bear Produce in Texas, states that labor shortage is a major issue in crop production. Without a steady source of labor, local producers and growers will be unable to meet demands and inevitably lose market share.3
Eligible applicants for this program include departments of agriculture in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Grant Writing Team will be accepting potential applicants for the USDA’s Specialty Crop Multi-State Program now through November 3, 2023. Contact us to see if your organization qualifies for this funding opportunity.
The Grant Writing Team will be accepting potential applicants for the USDA Forest Service’s 2023 Community Wildfire Defense Grant through September 13, 2023.
Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-AMS-TM-SCMP-G-23-0020
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1 Risk Management Agency. (n.d.). Specialty Crops. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from: https://www.rma.usda.gov/en/Topics/Specialty-Crops
2-3 Fergusen, E. (2023, May 15). Specialty crop producers seek farm bill recognition, support. Roll Call. Retrieved from: https://rollcall.com/2023/05/15/specialty-crop-producers-seek-farm-bill-recognition-support/