The deadline for Washington groups to apply for specialty crop grants is Jan. 31.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture will administer the federal grants to enhance the state's fruit, vegetable and nursery industry, according to a news release. The USDA will provide more than $3 million to Washington through its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, authorized by the federal 2008 Farm Bill.
Private and nonprofit organizations, commodity commissions and others may request funds for projects of $75,000 to $250,000 that benefit the competitiveness of fruit, vegetable, nursery and turfgrass producers.
In addition, WSDA will set aside a portion of the funds for small projects of $10,000 to $74,999. All projects must be completed within three years.
The first step in applying for funding is to e-mail a brief pre-proposal to Rianne Perry, WSDA grant coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Successful applicants will be asked to submit full proposals. Application information and forms are available on WSDA's website, http://agr.wa.gov/grants
For more information, visit: www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp or call Rianne Perry at 360-902-2177.
WSDA seeks projects that focus on controlling pests and diseases, improving food safety, promoting international trade, protecting key resources, enhanced in-state trade and reduced regulatory barriers.
Projects that benefit specialty crop producers in other ways are also encouraged. Each project must demonstrate measurable benefits to the specialty crop industry and must not assist just a single producer or company.
-- Steve Brown