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February 28, 2012   Email to Friend 

APPLICATIONS SOUGHT FOR SPECIALTY CROP GRANTS
Amy Belcher, Alabama Department of Agriculture
334-240-7126
February 28, 2012

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) is accepting grant applications for projects that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign and domestic markets. The application deadline for these specialty crop block grants through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is May 4, 2012, 5:00 P.M. Central Standard Time (CST).

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture (including maple syrup and honey) and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Commodity groups, agricultural organizations, colleges and universities, producers, municipalities, state agencies and agricultural nonprofits are all eligible for this grant program, provided their proposals meet all the specifications. The USDA has final approval for projects submitted. The ADAI and a review committee of industry representatives will evaluate and review the applications. After this process is complete, the committee will provide award recommendations.

The specialty crops block grant is a competitive grant process. The maximum award to any applicant is $25,000 and the minimum is $5,000. The ADAI is looking to award multiple grants totaling more than $325,000.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan stated, “The department looks forward to assisting the USDA with this Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. We are honored to be a part of this continued program, which was authorized in the Food, Conservation & Energy Act of 2008, also known as the farm bill.”

Projects cannot begin until the USDA has made its official award announcement, expected by October 2012.

For more detailed information please visit http://agi.alabama.gov/blockgrant or contact Hassey Brooks (334-240-3877). All applicants must complete and submit documentation as related to the newly enacted Alabama Immigration Law.  Please visit http://agi.alabama.gov/blockgrant for details.


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