ODA accepting specialty crop grant proposals

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. To qualify, the grants must be used to support projects that raise awareness about and increase demand for specialty crops grown in Ohio.

Eligible specialty crops include fresh fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. Successful grant applications should explain how projects will improve specialty crop production through marketing and promotions, research, and development, expanding availability and access to specialty crops, or addressing local, regional and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers.

Preference will be given to projects that have the potential to significantly expand, enhance and improve production and demand.

Ohio’s food and agricultural nonprofit organizations, associations or commodity groups, universities and research institutions are eligible to apply. Private individuals and businesses are not eligible for this grant and applications for projects that directly benefit a particular product or generate a profit for a single organization, institution or individual will not be awarded.

Grant funding is provided by the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. The deadline for grant proposal submissions is April 15, at 5 p.m. Grant awards will range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000.

In addition, all applicants must provide a minimum match of 25% of the requested grant amount. For more information on the 2021 program, available forms, or a copy of the request for proposal, visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website.

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