The California Department of Food and Agriculture is making money available through programs aimed at boosting the specialty crop industry.

The funding is available through the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and 2021 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program. CDFA is also accepting applications for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Technical Review Committee.

The block grant program will issue grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 per project, which may last for up to two years and six months. Organizations, government entities and colleges and universities are eligible to apply for projects designed to enhance the competitiveness of California-grown fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and other specialty crops.

CDFA is also soliciting applications for “volunteers with knowledge and expertise regarding California’s specialty crop industry” to serve on the committee that “reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations to CDFA on proposals submitted for funding to California’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.”

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Applications to serve on the committee are due Oct. 4; applications for block grant funding are due Oct. 8.

The department is also accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program, a federal effort of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Those grants range from $250,000 to $1 million for projects that can last for up to three years. The funding is to be used for “projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by funding collaborative, multi-state projects that address regional or national level specialty crop issues, including food safety, plant pests and disease, research, crop-specific projects addressing common issues, and marketing and promotion.”

SCMP applications are due Nov. 4.

CDFA has additional application information on its website.

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