The California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects that enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. The SCBGP is designed to support all sectors of California's specialty crop industry and improve the performance of California specialty crops within local, domestic, national, and international markets.
Funding and Duration
Grant amounts range from $50,000 to $450,000. The maximum grant duration is two (2) years, six (6) months, and grant funds cannot be expended before November 1, 2021, or after April 30, 2024. Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations Program projects will range from $25,000 to $100,000 and may last up to two years. CDFA reserves the right to offer an award amount less than the amount requested.
Separate of the competitive process, CDFA may award up to $3 million for proposals that address urgent or critical issues affecting California specialty crop agriculture, including prioritizing projects that address impacts of COVID-19 on California’s specialty crop industry.
Funding Area I: Market Enhancement
Proposals in this funding area will focus on increasing sales of California specialty crops through promotion of the unique qualities of specialty crops grown in California, developing new markets, increasing opportunities in existing markets, improving availability, and increasing demand.
Funding Area II: Access, Education, and Training
Proposals in this funding area will focus on improving the competitiveness of California specialty crops through improving access to and consumption of California specialty crops, providing nutritional education for consumers in order to increase consumption, and providing training for producers and growers to equip them for current and future challenges in specialty crop agriculture.
Funding Area III: Research
Proposals in this funding area will focus on improving the competitiveness of California specialty crops through projects that invest in specialty crop research, including research that focuses on conservation and environmental outcomes, pest and disease control, and organic and environmentally sustainable production practices. While research may be the primary objective of proposals in this funding area, all SCBGP projects are required to include an outreach component that communicates project efforts to specialty crop stakeholders. In developing the outreach component, applicants are strongly encouraged to include outreach to historically underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers.
Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations
The intent of the Additional Assistance for Historically Underrepresented Organizations program is to provide a process through which organizations that have been historically underrepresented in the SCBGP can participate and successfully implement their SCBGP projects. Non-profit organizations and tribal governments that have not previously received SCBGP funding, do not have technical expertise with grant writing, and who work directly in either supporting socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or providing nutrition education and/or access to specialty crops in underserved communities are eligible to apply for this program. Applicants to this program will complete the same questionnaire and attachments as all other funding areas. Concept proposals accepted for advancement under this process will receive assistance from CDFA to develop a full proposal for submission for USDA.
- Public Agency
- Tribal Government
Non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments; and public or private colleges and universities are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible to apply. There is no limit on the number of concept proposals applicants may submit; however, each concept proposal must be for a wholly unique project.
How to Apply
State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.
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