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Grants to Georgia Nonprofits, Agencies, and
IHEs to Improve Markets for Eligible Produce

USDA/AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/09/21 Noon - Receipt


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Grants to Georgia nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and agricultural organizations for programs that increase the marketability of eligible produce. An initial proposal is required prior to submission of the full proposal. Projects may involve education, research, or marketing. Projects will be chosen for funding based on potential increased impact to the specialty crop industry in Georgia. Partnerships are strongly encouraged.

Specialty crops are defined as: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops, including floriculture. Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification (i.e. crops used for animal feed are not eligible). Processed products shall consist of greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.

The following have been identified as funding priorities for the SCBGP for Georgia:

  • Increasing consumption of specialty crops in Georgia’s schools by expanding child knowledge of and improving access to the nutritional benefits of specialty crops;
  • Enhancing specialty crop food safety, particularly in regard to helping farmers/growers/producers prepare for and comply with the provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA);
  • Assisting all entities in the specialty crop production/distribution chain in developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors;
  • Research projects, including those which focus on helping specialty crop growers reduce the financial costs and/or environmental impact of their operations, including improved pest and disease management techniques, efficient water management, integrated pest management, and/or sustainable production;
  • Developing and researching new and improved specialty crop varieties that are better adapted to Georgia’s soils and climate and/or result in longer shelf-life;
  • Increasing sales and marketability and driving demand for commercially grown specialty crops.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153415

Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual project award funding requests require a minimum request of $20,000 up to a maximum of $100,000.

Term of Contract:

Awarded projects will have up to three years to complete the requirements of the grant. There are no extensions.

October 2021 - September 29, 2024

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Please note that ONLY grower associations, commodity commissions, colleges, universities, local governments, and IRS-designated non-profits (preferably in partnership with a Georgia college or university) may apply for this grant: individuals and businesses (including farms) are not eligible to apply for the SCBG

Non-profit organizations that are applying for the first time must partner with a Principal Investigator (PI) from a Georgia college or university, preferably from either of Georgia’s Land Grant institutions (UGA or FVSU). Because this is a very complicated grant to administer, previous experience with federal grants will factor greatly in Concept Proposal scoring, as will perceived administrative capacity.

University researchers may submit no more than one Concept Proposal for consideration for which they must be listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI. Researchers should keep in mind that it is unusual for the same researcher to be funded over multiple years and should adjust expectations accordingly. Researchers should include in their proposals a plan to present the findings of their SCBG project at the annual SERFVG Conference, held each January.

If you have submitted the same project to GDA twice in the past and it has not been funded, it cannot be submitted again. You are welcome to submit a new project for consideration.

Note that no indirect/administrative/F&A costs can be charged for this grant.

Pre-Application Information:

The application process through GDA consists of TWO STEPS:
1. Submittal of a Request for Concept Proposal Application form to GDA. This will be scored against all other concept proposals submitted and only the TOP 30 highest scoring projects will go on to step #2. It is imperative that you read the directions on the Concept Proposal carefully and not skip any fields, as you will not be able to make corrections once submitted. THIS IS DUE TO GDA BY 2/26/21 at NOON
2. Invitation (by 3/12/21) from GDA to submit a full project proposal application package.

Projected Timeline (subject to change):
- No later than February 1, 2021 – Monday: Announcement of 2021 SCBGP grant opportunity; Request for Concept Proposals (pre-screening) published.

- FEBRUARY 26, 2021 - Friday: Deadline for submission of Concept Proposals; must be received by NOON (NO EXCEPTIONS, NO EXTENSIONS). You will receive an acknowledgment of submission within 24 hours. If you do not, your application was NOT received.

- No later than MARCH 5, 2021 – Friday: GDA will send out Requests for Full Applications to organizations for the ~30 projects with the most impactful/highest scoring Concept Proposals. Those not invited to apply this year will also receive notice by the end of that week.

- APRIL 9, 2021 - Friday: Full Project Proposal/Application submission deadline to GDA by NOON (no exceptions)

- MID to LATE APRIL 2021: GDA staff review of full applications: revisions and clarifications requested from applicants.

- LATE APRIL TO EARLY MAY 2021: GDA/Specialty Crop Review Committee evaluation of applications

- MID-MAY 2021: Notice to applicants of acceptance/denial of their project proposals by the Review Committee. Revisions made to projects before submission to USDA/AMS-SCBGP; Most applications will require scope/budget revisions to projects based on Review Committee recommendations.

Definitions of Specialty Crops:

Contact Information:

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

Submit Request for Concept Proposal Application and full applications to

For questions or additional information, please contact:
J. Erdmann, Director of Grants/SCBGP Coordinator
Shana Miles, Grants Specialist III
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Georgia

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