South Dakota Announces Specialty Crop Grant Program
South Dakota’s Department of Agriculture recently announced a new program that will provide grants for improving specialty crop projects. For this program, specialty crops are defined as nursery crops (including floriculture), vegetables, fruits, dried fruits and tree nuts.
“Specialty crops continue to offer new economic opportunities,” said Larry Gabriel, South Dakota’s secretary of agriculture. “These grants are intended to boost specialty crop development within the state.”
The grant dollars were made available through Congress’ Specialty Crops Block Grant Program. The grants can be used for such projects as:
- Pest and disease prevention, plant health programs, controls or research projects.
- Commercial application of new technologies, equipment or practices.
- Collaborative efforts or alliances that cut costs or raise revenues through distribution or marketing projects.
- Product market development and expansion, including value-added products.
- Promotion and increased consumption of specialty crops.
- Conserving natural resources while producing specialty crops.
- Improving nutrition, food safety and/or food security.
- “Buy Local” campaigns.
- Enhancing trade for South Dakota grown products.
All grant applications are due by Dec. 15, 2006. For a copy of the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program application, go to www.state.sd.us/doa/.