CDFA Seeking Public Comment on 2020 California Specialty Crop Block Grant Priorities

August 02, 2019

CDFA is seeking public comment on the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), which is anticipated to open for applications September 2019. On August 1, 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) opened a two-week window for public comments to help determine priority funding areas for 2020. Until August 16, 2019, you have the chance to share your insight.


What is the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)?
The SCBGP exists to help promote California agriculture. Funding helps recipients with projects that help advance sales of California specialty crops. The SCBGP is a federally-funded program, but state departments are responsible for selecting the candidates and projects that best address state-specific needs and benefit state-specific agriculture. In California, CDFA administers grants. CDFA anticipates that up to $22 million will be awarded to specialty crop projects in California during this grant funding period, awarded in amounts ranging between $50,000 and $450,000 for a project duration of two years and six months. 


What is a “specialty crop?”
Specialty crops are defined as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Check here for USDA's complete list. 

Who may apply for funding under this program?
Eligible applicants include non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, and Federal government entities, tribal governments; and public or private colleges and universities. Individual farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply. Projects that only benefit one company are also not eligible to apply.

What can grant funds be spent on?
As currently proposed, projects can be focused on marketing and promotion of specialty crops, education and training of current and future specialty crop producers, and research projects in relation to environmental stewardship and plant health and pest management for specialty crops. To get more detail, read the current program priorities. In general, organizations can spend grant funds on personnel costs, promotional campaign costs, and costs for educational trainings and events, among other costs.

How can I share my insight?
CDFA welcomes your feedback in identifying the most relevant needs for specialty crops. Until 5:00 p.m. on August 16, 2019, you may share your opinions via email at grants@cdfa.ca.gov. You may also contribute to public listening sessions, listed below. The input received at these listening sessions will be published on the CDFA SCBGP website. All emailed and in-person feedback will be considered as the SCBGP determines final 2020 priorities.

Listening Session Schedule
Riverside County Farm Bureau
21160 Box Springs Road, #102
Moreno Valley, CA 92557 August 8, 2019 1:00 – 3:00 pm PDT
Fresno County Farm Bureau
1274 W. Hedges Ave.
Fresno, CA 93728 August 13, 2019 2:00 – 4:00 pm PDT
Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau
141 Monte Vista Ave.
Watsonville, CA 95076 August 14, 2019 3:00 – 5:00 pm PDT
California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814 August 15, 2019 2:00 – 4:00 pm PDT


Is the SCBGP grant an option for me?
In addition to contributing your comments on this funding opportunity, if you are interested in potentially seeking funding through the upcoming California SCBGP, please contact Morrison Principal Toni Scott at tscott@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-809-4672. Morrison will begin accepting clients ahead of the September 2019 opening of the application period, which is typically only 30 days. Morrison has extensive experience writing applications for California specialty crop organizations through this program.

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