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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

Grants to USA State Governments to
Expand Markets for Specialty Crops

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Deadline Date:

06/11/21 11:59 PM ET Receipt

Description:

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Grants to USA state and territory governments to expand market opportunities for specialty crops such as dried fruit, fruits and vegetables, nursery crops, horticulture, and tree nuts. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Applications must be submitted by the government agency, department, or commission that is responsible for agriculture within that state or territory.

SCBGP assists State departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by:

  1. Leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
  2. Assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
  3. Expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and
  4. Addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

For purposes of this FY 2021 RFA, USDA considers response to the COVID-19 pandemic necessary to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, and projects that respond to the pandemic are considered to be responsive to item 4 above, addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

For Farm Bill funding, States are encouraged to develop projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry, as in prior years, and may also fund projects that respond specifically to COVID-19 impacts:

  • Enhancing food safety;
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example, by developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems (including USDA GroupGAP) for small farmers, packers and processors;
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems; and
  • Sustainability.

For H.R. 133 Stimulus funding, states are encouraged to prioritize projects that respond to COVID-19 impacts. This may include projects to organizations to assist farmworkers, projects to fund farmers, food businesses, and other relevant entities to respond to risks and supply chain disruptions, and other projects that meet the definition of a project as described in section 1.4.4 Definition of a Project (see: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/2021_SCBGP_RFA.pdf#page=7).

Outreach to Identify Funding Priorities

State departments of agriculture are encouraged to perform outreach to interested parties, including socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, new and beginning farmers or ranchers, veteran producers, and underserved communities, prior to the development and release of the State’s request for proposals or applications, through a transparent process of receiving and considering public comment to identify State SCBGP funding priorities. For more information, see: 
https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/2021_SCBGP_RFA.pdf#page=6

A multi-state partnership is a project that implements activities with measurable outcomes that benefit two or more U.S. States and/or Territories. Multi-state partnerships are encouraged and should provide solutions to problems that cross state boundaries including, but not limited to, food safety; plant pests and disease; research; crop-specific projects addressing common issues; and marketing and promotion.

Project(s) must solely enhance the competitiveness of US or US territory-grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets. See the SCBGP website for a definition of specialty crops and processed products, including a list of eligible specialty crops and ineligible commodities.

Applications for grant funds should describe how the project potentially affects and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual.

For examples of acceptable farm bill funded projects and an explanation of allowable H.R. 133 Stimulus-funded projects, see: https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/2021_SCBGP_RFA.pdf#page=11

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181650

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$169,900,000

Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 112

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each State department of agriculture is eligible to receive an estimated base grant of approximately $243,001.17 (Farm Bill) and $323,333.33 (H.R. 133 Stimulus) and an amount based on the average of the most recent available value of specialty crop cash receipts in the State (2019 calendar year estimates) and the acreage of specialty crop production in the State (2017 Census of Agriculture).

Please refer to page 8 of the RFA (in Supporting Documents below) for a listing of available grant allocations.

Term of Contract:

For FY 2021, AMS is offering two mechanisms to fund applications under this solicitation, for varying periods of performance.
- Farm Bill Funds (annual funding):
-- Award Period: 3 years (September 30, 2021 - September 29, 2024)
- H.R. 133 Stimulus Funds (no-year funding):
-- Award Period: 4 years (No later than September 30, 2021 - September 29, 2025)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are State departments of agriculture in the 50 States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands. A State department of agriculture is the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.

AMS will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. In addition, recipients and subrecipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Examples of Unacceptable Farm Bill Funded Projects:

- A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop to make a profit, or to expand production of a single business or organization.
- A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 11, 2021, through Grants.gov.

The applicant organization registration process can take up to four weeks to complete. Therefore, complete your registration allowing sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

AMS expects that State departments of agriculture will consult with specialty crop growers, processors, and/or distributors before developing SCBGP project applications to ensure maximum public input and benefit. These stakeholders should play an important role in development of project goals and objectives, in implementing the project plan, and in evaluating and disseminating project results and outcomes.

All entities applying for funding, including renewal funding, must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).

In addition to having a DUNS number, organizations applying online through Grants.gov must register with the System for Award Management (SAM). All organizations must register with SAM to apply online.

View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=332855

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the Grants.gov page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

After closely reviewing this RFA in its entirety, applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact the SCBGP staff by e-mail with questions about the grant program at SCBlockGrants@usda.gov.

Applicants may also call the Grants.gov 24/7 toll-free support number 1-800-518-4726, or email support@grants.gov.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 2055 South Building
Stop 0201
Washington, DC 20250-0264

CFDA Number:

10.170

Funding or Pin Number:

USDA-AMS-TM-SCBGP-G-21-0003

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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