The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is now accepting proposals for the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Vermonts federal allocation for this funding cycle is estimated at $200,000. These grant funds are for the sole purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of Vermont-grown Specialty Crops, and will be distributed to through a competitive review process. The complete RFP and guidance document can be found online at: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/producer_partner_resources/funding_opportunities/vaafm_funding/specialty_crop.
Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops (including floriculture and turf production). The USDA maintains a list of eligible specialty crops on its website: www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp. Projects may be up to three calendar years in length, and multi-state projects are encouraged. Applications for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has identified the following program goals and priorities for FY2014:
Statewide economic impact
Food safety and traceability
Market access, branding and consumer education (local, regional, national, international)
Supply chain development
Pest and disease management
Productivity enhancement, cost containment and innovation
Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by March 28. The deadline for full applications, for those who have already been invited to apply, is May 19.
For more information, contact Johanna Herron, Senior Agricultural Development Specialist, 802-505-0490, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets: VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment.