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California leads the nation in specialty crop funds

CDFA logo Tim Hearden
A display in the lobby of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento shows the state's many diverse crops.
The state receives $23.8 million in federal grant funds. CDFA awards grants to 58 projects.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced recently that the state has received $23.8 million out of approximately $72.4 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture nationwide for the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).

The SCBGP provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

With the $23.8 million, CDFA will fund 58 projects, awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $450,000 to non-profit and for-profit organizations, government entities, and colleges and universities.

Selected through a competitive process, these projects focus on increasing sales of specialty crops by leveraging the unique qualities of specialty crops grown in California; increasing consumption by expanding the specialty crop consumer market, improving availability of specialty crops and providing nutritional education for consumers; training growers to equip them for current and future challenges; investing in training for growers/producers/operators to address current and future challenges; and conducting research on conservation and environmental outcomes, pest control and disease, and organic and sustainable production practices.

Additionally, CDFA made awards to first-time recipients through the “Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations” program. This program was developed for organizations that support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, including urban farmers, and/or promote increased access or nutrition education in underserved communities throughout California.

CDFA continued its partnership with the Center for Produce Safety in the evaluation and recommendation of food safety-related projects. These projects represent an ongoing effort by the state to address food safety practices and minimize outbreaks of foodborne illness with proactive research.

The 2020 SCBGP project abstracts are available online at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Specialty_Crop_Competitiveness_Grants/

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 
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