Specialty crop research and development grants available

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging fruit, vegetable, and other specialty crop organizations to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grants to help increase the competitiveness of their crops. Applications are due by 4:00 PM Central Time on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

“These grants are a great opportunity for Minnesota’s specialty crop growers to be innovative both on and off the farm,” says MDA Grant Administrator David Weinand. “We’re looking for projects that will benefit growers sector-wide through research and development.”

Grants are available to fund innovation in production, aggregation, processing, and packaging; improve operational efficiency; increase access to distribution systems and new markets for specialty crops; increase the demand for and supply of locally produced specialty crops; research on pest and disease control; and research on practices that encourage conservation, environmental stewardship, and production.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural groups are encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply, visit the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program web page or call 651-201-6500.

CONTACT: Alauna Yust, MDA Communications 
651-201-6629, alauna.yust@state.mn.us