Home » LDAF Accepting Applications for 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

LDAF Accepting Applications for 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

by Minden Press-Herald

Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., announced LDAF is now accepting applications for the 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).

Applications must be received no later than the close of business (4:30 p.m.) March 14, 2023. LDAF will administer the grant program funded through the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS). The LDAF anticipates nearly $325,000 to be allocated to fund Louisiana projects.

The grants will be used for projects that enhance the competitiveness of Louisiana-grown specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery crops, including floriculture and horticulture in either domestic or foreign markets.

Applicants must reside in, or their organization or educational affiliation must be in, Louisiana. All applicants are required to obtain a Unique Identity ID (UEI) number and include that number on their application.

Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Projects should focus on issues to help improve specialty crop industries as a whole, such as distribution, production, research, pest and disease control, market development, increased nutrition knowledge and consumption, food safety, promotion, and education. Producer associations, state and/or local organizations, state or local governments, qualified educational institutions, nonprofits, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible recipients. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Once the deadline has passed, all applications submitted to LDAF will be carefully evaluated to determine if the projects are qualified based on the criteria listed in the guidelines. Qualified project applications will be reviewed and scored by a panel of industry stakeholders who will make funding recommendations to LDAF. All LDAF-approved projects will be incorporated into one state grant request, which will be submitted to the USDA.

LDAF has prepared a Request for Applications (RFA) document detailing application instructions, scoring criteria, federal forms, project format examples, and other helpful information from the USDA. The document may be found at https://www.ldaf.state.la.us/consumers/agro-consumer-services-dairy/specialty-crops-program/.

A complete list of eligible specialty crops may be found at https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/USDASpecialtyCropDefinition.pdf.

For more information on how to apply for the grant or how to become a Panel Reviewer, contact Commodity Promotion and Research Director Michelle Estay at 985-345-9483.

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