2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Request for Concept Proposals

Portal ID:
Closed (271 total applications submitted)
Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
Last Updated:



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.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Business
  • Nonprofit
  • 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.  

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
Fall 2021
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
$50,000 – $450,000
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • Federal

Funding Source Notes:

10.170 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program - Farm Bill 

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
1-916-657-3231, grants@cdfa.ca.gov