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Grants to Ohio Nonprofits, IHEs, Cooperatives, and
Commodity Groups to Promote State Agriculture

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG)

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/25/22 5:00 PM EST


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Grants to Ohio nonprofit organizations, universities, research institutions, cooperatives, and commodity groups to enhance the competitiveness of the state's agricultural products. Funding is intended to advance the long-term economic viability and marketability of specialty crops. Specialty crops are identified as fruits, vegetables, dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, tree nuts, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Grant projects may focus on, but are not restricted to these areas:

  • Enhancing food safety or water quality.
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (21 U.S.C. Chapter 27), for example, developing “Good Agricultural Practices,” “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems (including USDA Group GAP) for small farmers, packers and processors.
  • Development of season extension and sales opportunities
  • Provide improvements in the aggregation and distribution of specialty crops
  • Support for efforts to reduce or mitigate risk for specialty crop producers, particularly in the areas of climate and weather extremes, crop disease, pest control and/or labor.
  • Diversification and expansion of production and processing.
  • Implement programs or projects that provide outreach and education on the importance of the industry with regards to Ohio’s economy, food safety or the nutrition and health benefits of specialty crops
  • Provide technical and direct support to beginning producers
  • Assist specialty crop producers in cooperative marketing efforts
  • Initiatives to assist Ohio’s nursery industry
  • Developing new and improved specialty crops through seed varieties, cultivars, cuttings, etc
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops; and
  • Addressing COVID 19 impact on specialty crop industry or building infrastructure to support alternative direct markets to consumers that protect public health. 

Examples of Acceptable Projects:

  • A non-profit organization requests funds to demonstrate the viability of organic small fruit production and partners with Cooperative Extension to publicize the working model of diversification to other regional growers.
  • A university partners with a single farmer to implement food safety practices or models on his/her property to meet food safety requirements. The university and farmer then conduct multiple field day and training services at the farm, to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the methods.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 154678

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects are permitted to last two years in duration (October 2022– October 2024), with an option to extend to a third year with ODA approval.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Food and agricultural non-profit organizations, associations or commodity groups, universities and research institutions are eligible to submit specialty crop proposals. Projects that have a focus on the benefit a particular commercial product, or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual will not be considered.

Individuals and partnerships (hereinafter referred to as “partnering entities”) may participate in this grant program by developing and submitting proposals, through an eligible applicant.

Private individuals and companies are not eligible to apply. Employees of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, members of his or her immediate family, or business partners of the aforementioned are not eligible to receive a grant. Members of the review committee are not permitted to apply for the grant if they are the applicant or have a financial obligation to project.

Examples of Unacceptable Projects:
- A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop to make a profit or to expand production of a single business or organization.
- A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership.

Pre-Application Information:

2022 Award Timeline:
Grant Proposals
- SCBG Stakeholder Meeting: February 16, 2022; 11 AM EST
- Ohio's 2022 SCBG RFP Opens: February 18, 2022; 12 PM EST
- Applications Due to ODA: March 25, 2022; 5 PM EST
- SCBG Committee review and selection: Date TBA
- ODA submits state plan to USDA for approval (Pending USDA deadline announcement): May 3, 2022

- USDA approval (anticipated): September 2022
- ODA issues approval letters to successful applicants and initiates contracting: October 2022
- Project work can begin (anticipated): November 1, 2022
- Project end date: September 29, 2024
- Latest project end date (upon approved extension request): September 29, 2025

In addition, all applicants must provide a minimum match of 25 percent of the requested grant amount.

Each applicant must obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number which is a nine-digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to uniquely identify business entities. A DUNS number may be obtained from D&B by telephone (currently 866-705-5711) or at You are not required to have the DUNS number before submitting your application to the Ohio Department of Agriculture for the 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant program, but you will be required to have the number before accepting funds as a recipient.

Teams Recording:

Contact Information:

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

To be considered, applications must be submitted electronically to Ashley McDonald at or no later than 5:00p.m. EST on Friday, March 25, 2022.

Ohio Department of Agriculture
Attn: Ashley McDonald
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio

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