Helena, Mont., The Montana Department of Agriculture is announcing that an estimated $986,000 in federal funding is expected to be available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. The department is now accepting applications for this competitive grant program. All grants must be approved by the State of Montana and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Montana's SCBG program benefits projects solely enhancing the competitiveness of Montana specialty crops. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, peas, lentils, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. A list of crops commonly considered Montana specific is available on the program's website. http://agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Development/GrantsLoans/SCBG/
"Montana agriculture has a real opportunity to grow our specialty crop diversification with the additional funding we have received this year. The funding should provide for the continued development of specialty crops, market expansion, and job creation," said Department Director Ron de Yong.
Eligible projects include education on the value of specialty crops, improving efficiency of distribution systems, assisting entities in the development of good agricultural practices, pest and disease control, improving variety development, and sustainable production practices. See a complete description of eligible and previously-funded projects at http://agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Development/GrantsLoans/SCBG/Eligibility.html.
State and/or local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community based organizations, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts.
Grant proposals are due to the Montana Department of Agriculture by 2:00 p.m. MST on April 8, 2015. For more information, eligibility guidelines, technical assistance and resources, visit http://agr.mt.gov/agr/Programs/Development/GrantsLoans/SCBG/ or contact Jim Auer, Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Manager, at (406) 444-5424.
The Montana Department of Agriculture's mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.
Montana Department of Agriculture
Public Information Specialist/Special Projects