The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting proposals for the 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). Grant awards range from $50,000 to $450,000 per project and projects may last for up to two years and six months. Non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, federal, and tribal government entities; and public and private colleges and universities are eligible to apply. Each year, CDFA conducts a two-phase competitive solicitation process to award funds to projects that enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Review the 2020 Request for Concept Proposals for detailed application instructions.

Karen Ross

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross

Phase I of the competitive process begins with the submission of concept proposals, which undergo both an administrative review and a technical review. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a detailed grant proposal in Phase II of the process. All applicants must register online with the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST),, to apply. Concept proposals must be submitted electronically using FAAST by Friday, October 18, 2019, at 5 pm PST. You can contact CDFA’s Office of Grants Administration at (916) 657-3231 or for additional information. 


In addition, CDFA announced a new Farmer Resource Portal designed to assist farmers and ranchers by increasing access to information to help farming operations. The portal is available here: This webpage is a “one-stop shop” for farmers and ranchers to find information about available grants and loans including programs that prioritize funding for socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, female farmers, veteran farmers, and urban farmers. Additionally, there is a list of quick links to information to help farmers and ranchers better understand CDFA regulations and policies.

“It is my hope that this site will be utilized by farmers, ranchers and the groups that work with them,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. “Most of the information was already available, but this portal makes it simple and easy to navigate, and it keeps all of the key information in one place.”

The Farmer Resource portal was developed under the tenets of Assembly Bill 1348 (Aguilar-Curry), the Farmer Equity Act of 2017. This law requires CDFA to ensure the inclusion of socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of food and agriculture laws, regulations, policies, and programs.