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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)

GrantWatch ID# 153415
Agency: State

Funding Source
Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA)
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Geographic Focus
USA: Georgia

Important Dates
LOI Date: 03/02/22
Deadline: 03/25/22 Noon - Receipt

Grant Description
Grants to Georgia nonprofit organizations, government agencies, institutions of higher education, and agricultural organizations for programs that increase the marketability of eligible produce. Applicants must submit an initial proposal prior to submitting the full application. Funding is intended for projects that have a positive impact on specialty crops across the state. Projects may involve education, research, or marketing.

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.

For program outcomes and indicators, see:


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
Please note that ONLY grower associations, commodity commissions, colleges, universities, local governments, and IRS-designated non-profits (in partnership with a Georgia college or university for first-time applicants) may apply for this grant. Individuals and businesses (including farms) are not eligible to apply for the SCBGP.

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
Completed Concept Proposals are due by noon on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

Full project proposals are due by March 25, 2022, at noon.

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 25-30 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.
2. Invitation (by 3/7/22) from GDA to submit a full project proposal application package.

Award letters and contract agreements will go out to awardees/sub-grantees through the Principal Investigator (PI) in late September 2022.

Additional uinformation:

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. The grant period begins in October 2022.

Contact Information
Submit Concept Proposals and full applications to

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

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