State agriculture department announces specialty crop grant opportunity – Osage County Online | Osage County News

State agriculture department announces specialty crop grant opportunity

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Funds are awarded to the agency by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The funds are in turn granted to projects and organizations that promote specialty crops in Kansas.

The purpose of the specialty crop program is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.”

In 2013, Kansas received $245,000 for the grant program.  In 2014, Kansas is expected to receive approximately $280,000.

Applications will be evaluated by a team of external reviewers. The team will rate proposals on their ability to successfully promote specialty crops in Kansas and make a positive impact on the Kansas economy, and submit those recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture, who will make the final awards.

Applications are due to KDA no later than May 16, 2014. For more information, download the 2014 application.

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