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USDA/AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

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

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/10/20 Noon - Receipt


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Grants to Georgia nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, and agricultural organizations for agricultural 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. All projects must benefit the specialty crop industry. Partnerships are strongly encouraged.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery 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.

Funding Priorities/Focus Areas: 

  • 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 $150,000.

Term of Contract:

Awarded projects will have up to three years to complete the requirements of the grant, as follows:

- October 2020: 3-year grant period begins (once all contracts are fully executed).
- September 29, 2023: 3-year Grant period ends. No extensions. Projects must be completed by this date and absolutely no 2020 grant funds can be spent after this date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Proposals will be accepted only from Georgia's IRS-designated 501(c)(3) current nonprofit organizations, commodity commissions, grower associations, state and local government entities, and colleges and universities.

Nonprofit organizations are strongly encouraged to partner with a Principal Investigator (PI) from a Georgia college or university, preferably from either of Georgia’s Land Grant institutions (UGA or FVSU). Those who do not may receive lower scores on their Concept Proposals, especially if they have never received a SCBGP grant. 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.

Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

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

Pre-Application Information:

Projected Timeline (subject to change):

- January 31, 2020 – Friday: Announcement of 2020 SCBGP grant opportunity; Request for Concept Proposals (pre-screening) published
- February 28, 2020 - Monday: Deadline for submission of Concept Proposals; must be received by noon (no exceptions)
- March 11, 2020 – Wednesday: GDA will send out Requests for Full Applications to organizations for the 20 projects with the highest scoring Concept Proposals. Those not invited to apply this year will also receive notice by the end of that week.
- April 10, 2020 - Friday: Full Project Proposal/Application submission deadline to GDA by noon (no exceptions) in Word format only
- Mid to Late April 2020: GDA staff review of full applications: revisions and clarifications requested from applicants.
- Late April to Early May 2020: GDA/Specialty Crop Review Committee evaluation of applications.
- Mid-May 2020: Notice to applicants of acceptance/denial of their project proposals by 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.
- June-July 2020: Georgia’s full State Grant Application Request will be sent to USDA/AMS-SCBG.
- Late September 2020: Award letters and contract agreements will go out to awardees/sub-grantees. Announcement of grant awards through press release/GDA website.
- October 2020: 3-year grant period begins (once all contracts are fully executed).
- March 31, 2022: Grantees should have requested reimbursement for at least 50% of their grant funds by this date. Unspent funds are subject to recapture and reallocation.
- November 1, 2022: Second Annual Report Due. Template will be emailed to Principal Investigators by 10/1/22.
- September 29, 2023: 3-year Grant period ends. No extensions. Projects must be completed by this date and absolutely no 2020 grant funds can be spent after this date.
- November 1, 2023: Final Reports Due. Template will be emailed to Principal Investigators by 10/1/23.

The application process includes:

- Concept Proposals submission
- Invitation from GDA to submit a full project proposal application package
- Full Project Proposal/Application submission

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 relatively rare for the same researcher to be funded over multiple years and should adjust expectations accordingly.

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 important related documents and grantee manuals, see URL for Full Text below.

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.

For questions or additional information, please email:

Jen Erdmann
Director of Grants/SCBGP Coordinator
Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Georgia

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