New multi-state specialty crop grants available for Virginia producers

economic-forecast-headerThe Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has selected 18 state departments of agriculture to participate in the 2015 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP). VDACS is one of the agencies chosen to participate.

Created by the 2014 Farm Bill, this competitive grant program makes approximately $3 million available to help develop solutions to problems affecting the specialty crop industry across state boundaries. The grant is designed to support food safety and research; address plant pests, disease and crop-specific issues; and increase marketing opportunities for specialty crops which include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.

VDACS encourages specialty crop producer associations and groups, other state agencies, tribal governments, universities, non-profits and other stakeholder groups and organizations to submit grant proposals. Proposals must include partners located in at least two different states to qualify.

The deadline for multi-state partners to submit proposals to participating state departments of agriculture is December 15, 2015. Grant awards may be for a minimum of $250,000 and a maximum of $3,000,000 and may last up to three years.

VDACS will screen proposals to ensure they are complete and meet the basic requirements outlined in the Request for Applications; submit applications to AMS by January 14, 2016; assume administrative responsibility for any application they submit that is selected for funding and establish sub-grants and/or contracts with the multi-state partners to complete the project.

Potential applicants with questions about the grant may contact Melissa Ball at or 804.786.5448.

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