Grants to help you grow and sell specialty crops are available in South Dakota.
The application deadline is Aug. 7.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant program defines specialty crops as fruits, dried fruits, tree nuts, vegetables, nursery crops, flowers, grass seed and sod.
Program dollars can be used for a variety of projects including:
- conducting specialty crop research, including organic research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes
- developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; and sustainability
- improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems
- organizing cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors
- increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and specialty crops consumption
- participating in national and international meetings.
The review process is competitive and priority will be given to applications that include consumer promotion, applied research and education. Beginning farmers and ranchers or "socially disadvantaged" applicants may receive additional consideration.
Completed applications must be postmarked by August 7, 2009 and sent to SDDA at 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501. Results will be announced after review by SDDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For program guidelines, an application form, or other information, call SDDA at 605-773-5436 or see www.dakotaflavor.com.
Source: SD Department of Agriculture