Pa. specialty crops get federal support

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Twenty-one Pennsylvania projects will strengthen the state’s specialty crop industries through research, education and marketing with nearly $925,000 in federal grants, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding announced.

The projects address a range of agricultural priorities like food safety, producer education, plant pest research, and consumer connection to agriculture through farm-to-school curricula. The federal grants that support them are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Specialty crops have always been an important component of our commonwealth’s diverse agriculture industry, and this program encourages their growing presence in the state’s agriculture portfolio,” said Redding. “These investments in timely projects are contributing to a stronger Pennsylvania.”

Grant recipients are selected by a state-appointed specialty crop advisory board and approved by the state agriculture secretary. Applications are then collectively submitted for approval to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

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