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Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG)

Grants to Michigan Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies,
and Tribes to Promote the Market for Specialty Crops

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Deadline Date:

02/27/20 3:00 PM EST Receipt


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Grants to Michigan nonprofit organizations, for-profits, government agencies, and tribal governments to expand the market potential of eligible crops produced within the state. Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Eligible crops include tree nuts, fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, nursery crops (including floriculture), and horticulture.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds projects that enhance the competitiveness of Michigan specialty crops. 

The funds can be used for projects involved in promotion, marketing, research, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased knowledge and consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, and good manufacturing practices.

Funding Priorities:

  • Market Enhancement to promote specialty crops
    • Market Enhancement, Availability, and Access to Specialty Crops 
    • Farm to Institution
  • Research and Development relevant to specialty crops
    • Plant Health and Pest Management
    • Farm Sustainability
  • Training & Education addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers
    • Enhancing Food Safety
    • Environmental Sustainability 
    • Workforce/Labor

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 136305

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award amount is $100,000 for research proposals and $125,000 for marketing, training, and education proposals per proposal. Only proposals submitted in whole dollar amounts will be considered.

Term of Contract:

Grant period will be approximately October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2022.

Projects must be completed within two years after project is given its initiation date. The MDARD must be notified at least 60 days prior to the end date of the project if for any reason the project cannot be completed within the two-year period established in the grant agreement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must be a nonprofit or for-profit organization, local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments.

If you are a university applying for funding, your application must be submitted by the commodity group or other eligible organization for which the work is being performed.

Organizations must be legal entities recognized by the IRS and a registered vendor within the State of Michigan.

Proposals for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Indirect costs are unallowable under Michigan’s specialty crop grant program. Indirect costs (also known as “facilities and administrative costs”) are costs incurred for common or joint objectives that cannot be identified specifically with a particular project, program, or organizational activity.

Administration Expenses - The department will not accept any proposal with a budget line of administration expenses. (pre-award costs, proposal costs; depreciation or use allowances on buildings and equipment; costs of operating and maintaining facilities; general administration and general expenses; and personnel, legal, information technology, and accounting administration.)

Ineligible Criteria:
- Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual, as these projects do not enhance specialty crop industry competitiveness.
- Incomplete proposals, including proposals with one or more unanswered questions and/or missing, unreadable, or otherwise unusable attachments.
- Proposals with activities outside the grant duration.
- Proposals with more than the maximum award amount.
- Proposals with unallowable costs and activities necessary to complete the project objectives.
- Proposals for ineligible or non-specialty crop commodities.

Pre-Application Information:

- Release Request for Proposals: January 6, 2020
- Proposals Due: February 27, 2020 @ 3pm EST
- Evaluation Committee Review: April 2020
- MDARD Submits State Plan to USDA: May 2020
- USDA Reviews State Plan: June/July 2020
- USDA State Plan Approval and Sign Agreement with USDA: September 2020
- Grant Agreements Signed with Sub-Awardees: October/November 2020

SCBG proposals must be received via email by 3 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, February 27, 2020, and will not be accepted if received after the deadline.

This is a cost reimbursement program.

All applicants must register with the federal System for Award Management.

All applicants must also have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.

To register as a vendor:,5552,7-358-82550_85746---,00.html

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit application materials to:

For more information about this funding opportunity, contact:
Heather Throne, Grant Administrator

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, Michigan 48909

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Michigan

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