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Grants Available to Help Promote Specialty Crops

Today, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reminded Iowans that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is accepting applications for grant funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

The grants are available to support projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa.

“Specialty Crops” that are eligible under this program are fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops. Both fresh and processed specialty crops are eligible.

The Iowa Specialty Crop Block Grant Program has been allocated $282,032.76 for 2017.

Grant awards will be considered up to a maximum of $24,000 and projects can have a duration of up to 2 ½ years.

“The Specialty Crop Block Grant funds can support food safety, research and marketing efforts that encourage Iowans to choose the products that are produced right here in our state,” Northey said. “Specialty crops are a very important part of Iowa agriculture as they allow farmers to diversify and give customers access to locally grown products.”

Iowa agencies, universities, institutions, and producer, industry, and community based organizations are all eligible to apply for funding.

Proposals must be received by IDALS before 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 3, 2017. For more information visit www.IowaAgriculture.gov/Horticulture_and_FarmersMarkets/specialtyCropGrant.asp.