Grants Available to Support Minnesota Specialty Crops

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has opened applications for grant funding to help increase the competitiveness of Minnesota-grown specialty crops in domestic and foreign markets.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects focused on marketing and promotion, research and development, expanding availability and access, and addressing challenges confronting producers of specialty crops. The MDA anticipates awarding approximately $1.25 million in this round of grants using a competitive review process, with a maximum award of $125,000 and a minimum award of $20,000.

Nonprofits, producer organizations, government agencies, tribal organizations, universities, and other organizations involved in Minnesota agriculture are encouraged to apply for grant funding. Individual producers, for-profit businesses, and commercial entities are also eligible to apply as long as projects provide a sector-wide impact.

Grant funding for the SCBGP is provided annually by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Block Grant under the legislative authority of the Farm Bill. USDA defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, floriculture, and processed products that have 50% or more specialty crop content by weight, exclusive of added water.

Applications for 2024 SCBGP funds must be submitted by 4 p.m. Central Time on Thursday, March 21, 2024. Full program details and application materials, as well as information on previously funded projects, can be found on the MDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program web page.