Latest recipients of Ohio specialty crop grants revealed; 13 projects approved

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey announced the final three recipients to receive a portion of $650,000 in federal funding to promote specialty crops, or some of the “lesser-known” of Ohio’s 200 crops.

“The Ohio Controlling Board has given approval for all 13 projects that we carefully reviewed and selected for funding,” said Dailey.

“I am pleased that all of the grant money has now been awarded, and that it is being put to good use by helping to promote and improve Ohio specialty crops.”

In all, the department received 37 project proposals requesting a total of more than $2.7 million.

Crop appropriations. Last year, the Ohio Department of Agriculture received $800,000 as part of a Congressional appropriation to promote Ohio specialty crops.

Approximately $150,000 of these funds will be used by ODA to conduct industry-wide marketing activities that promote Ohio specialty crops, including a pavilion at the Produce Marketing Association show in October.

The remaining $650,000 of these grant funds were distributed to agricultural non-profit organizations, associations, and specialty crop commodity groups that represent specific specialty crop sectors.

New recipients. Following are the three new approved grant recipients and brief descriptions of the projects being funded.

* Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program will receive $150,000.

The grant will be used to improve the profitability and marketability of vegetable and small fruit crops through research and development by assisting producers in developing new varieties and new cultivar practices.

* Ohio Vegetable & Potato Growers Association will receive $32,752 to increase awareness and consumption of Ohio grown vegetables.

Plans are to design vegetable harvest calendars summarizing produce availability for consumers, grower directories for promotion of Ohio vegetables to wholesale and retail produce buyers, and organizing a media tour to promote producer operations and farm markets.

* Pearl Alley Growers’ Association will receive $57,000 to increase consumer demand and marketing opportunities for Central Ohio specialty crops through the use of multimedia and one-on-one promotional activities.

This includes enhancing consumer awareness on the types of produce available, when particular crops are available, and how to prepare Ohio-grown specialty crops.

Earlier grants. Other grant recipients and the amounts that were approved and announced earlier this year are:

Innovative Farmers of Ohio ($41,605); The Ohio Apple Marketing Program ($45,000 and $20,000); The Ohio Christmas Tree Association ($25,000);

The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association ($58,342); The Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program ($27,500);

The Toledo Area Flower and Vegetable Growers Association ($67,300); Ohio Florists’ Association ($50,000);

Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program ($22,500); and the Mid American Ag and Hort Services ($53,000).

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