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Grants to Nebraska Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, Agencies and
Individuals to Boost the Competitiveness of Agricultural Crops

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

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Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)

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Grants to Nebraska nonprofit organizations, for-profits, academic institutions, government entities, and teams of individuals for projects that boost the competitiveness of agricultural crops. Applicants must attend a webinar and submit a concept proposal prior to applying. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture. Each project must identify at least one expected measurable outcome and indicator that specifically demonstrates the project’s impact in enhancing the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops.

Applicants should describe how the project potentially affects and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual.

Funding Areas:

Funding areas are intended to clearly define the SCBGP priorities and help prospective applicants to both develop their projects and submit their projects in the most appropriate category.

In practice, Concept Proposals might seem to address elements from multiple funding areas. However, applicants must select one of the areas listed in the Concept Proposal.

Concept Proposals should:

  • Demonstrate a high likelihood of success 
  • Describe the specialty crop grower benefit and grower connection to the project
  • Be scalable to the larger community
  • Demonstrate industry need and support
  • Illustrate a sustainable funding source beyond the life of the proposed grant
  • Include an outreach component addressing how project results, research findings, and conclusions will be extended to specialty crop growers

Funding Areas:

  • Agriculture Education and Outreach
  • Nutrition Education and Consumption
  • Environmental Crop Research/Conservation
  • Enhancement of Food Safety/Food Security
  • Plant Pest and Disease Control
  • Trade Enhancements/Innovations
  • Good Agricultural Practices
  • Organic and Sustainable Production Practices

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179882

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

A maximum grant award does not exist and neither NDA nor the SCBGP requires a cost sharing or matching requirement.

Term of Contract:

Grant funds cannot be expended before September 30, 2022, or after September 29, 2025.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In Phase I, interested, eligible non-profit organizations, local, state, and federal government entities, for-profit organizations, producer groups, and colleges or universities must submit Concept Proposals.

Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners. Proposals should be initiated by organizations, industry groups, or academic institutions, or should involve collaboration or partnerships between producers, industry groups, academics, or other organizations. Applicants may cooperate with any public or private organization or two or more individuals or organizations may propose a joint project.

Funds will not be awarded for projects that benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. In addition, grant funds cannot be used to compete unfairly with private companies that provide equivalent products or services.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A new online platform is being launched for the Nebraska Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Applicants interested in applying must attend the online training session on December 9, 2021 at 10 a.m. CST.

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Pre-Application Information:

Phase I: Concept Proposal
- Release Request for Concept Proposals: December 2021
- Concept Proposals Due: January 31, 2022

Phase II: Grant Proposal (by invitation only)
- Invitation to Submit Grant Proposals: Early March 2022
- Grant Proposals Due to NDA: March 31, 2022
- Grant Proposals Sent to USDA for Approval: May 2022
- Announcement of Award Funding: Late September 2022

Concept Proposals must be submitted through AmpliFund by January 31, 2022.

Once the Concept Proposals have been collected, and the submission deadline has expired, NDA will determine whether the submitted Concept Proposals meet SCBGP grant eligibility requirements and will assess all applicants’ past grant performances (if any). A SCBGP Field Review Panel will then be formed, which will likely be comprised of representatives from public agencies and non-profit entities with an interest and expertise in specialty crop food and agricultural systems. The panel will rank proposals against the evaluation criteria and questions listed on the Technical Evaluation Criteria Score Sheet. Depending on the nature of the Concept Proposals, the panel may seek additional peer review for more specialized proposals.

The panel will make recommendations to the Director of Agriculture as to which applicants should be invited to submit a Phase II, Grant Proposal. The Director will ultimately decide which projects will be invited to Phase II.

The applicant’s Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be listed on the application. Instructions on how to obtain a DUNS number can be found at

Contact Information:

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

Applicants can access the AmpliFund application portal by going to

For questions, please contact:
Casey Foster
Nebraska Department of Agriculture
PO Box 94947
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-4876

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Nebraska

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