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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

Grants to North Dakota Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies,
and IHEs to Improve the Market for Specialty Crops

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA)

Deadline Date:

04/07/21 4:00 PM CST Receipt

Description:

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Grants to North Dakota nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, and IHEs to improve the market for specialty agricultural crops produced within the State. Specialty crops are defined as vegetables, fruits, dried fruits, nursery crops (including floriculture), tree nuts, and horticulture. Funding is intended to support areas such as research, food safety, educational outreach, the development of new seed varieties, and disease and pest control.

To be eligible for a grant, the project(s) must "solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S. or U.S. territory grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets." Projects must also benefit more than one commercial product (e.g., ABC Company brand), organization, or individual.

Examples of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops include, but are not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems and environmental concerns and conservation.

Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall constitute greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.

Examples of Acceptable Projects:

  • A university requests funding to conduct research on the feasibility of planting, cultivating, and growing a specialty crop in a particular area, the results of which will be shared with many growers throughout the state during the project.
  • A single grower requests funds to demonstrate the viability of organic small fruit production and partners with an extension service to publicize the working model of diversification to other regional growers.
  • A single company requests funds to provide a viable pollination alternative to specialty crop stakeholders in a region that currently does not have one.
  • A single non-profit organization requests funds to conduct an advertising campaign that will benefit their specialty crop members.
  • A single farmer erects high tunnels on his/her property to extend the growing season of tomatoes and lettuce and conducts a field day and farm tour to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the production methods. 

Program Priorities:

  • Providing Farmer Education on Specialty Crop:
    • Farm-to-institution practices
    • Value-added production
    • Disease and pest management
    • Farm and food safety
    • Organic and non-organic food production
    • Use of beneficial organisms
    • Business development
  • Supporting Research in the Areas of Specialty Crop:
    • Disease and pest management
    • Variety testing and selection
    • Organic and non-organic food production
    • Use of beneficial organisms
    • Adaptability and Resiliency
  • Planning and Supporting Infrastructures that Create or Support Specialty Crop:
    • Storage
    • Processing
    • Farm to institute
    • Pest management assistance for farmers
  • Increasing Consumer Awareness of the Value of Specialty Crops Through:
    • Education
    • Market Development

For information on Funding Restrictions, see: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/sites/default/files/Specialty%20Crop%20Grant%20Manual%202021%20-%20Additional%20Funding.pdf#page=19

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180502

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$2,700,000

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant project amounts for FY2021 do not have a floor or a cap. NDDA reserves the right to offer an award amount less than the amount requested.

Term of Contract:

The maximum grant duration is two (2) years and grant funds cannot be expended before October 1, 2021, or after September 30, 2023.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following organizations can submit projects that aim to enhance the production and competitiveness of North Dakota’s specialty crop industries:
- Non-profit organizations
- Government entities
- For-profit organizations
- Industry trade associations
- Producer groups
- Commodity commissions
- Public and private colleges/universities
- Individuals (must partner with an above group)

Exclusions:
- Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit or provide profit only to a single organization, institution, or individual
- Funds may not be used to purchase fixed assets or personal property
- Expenditures incurred prior to grant award may not be included in the grant request or eligible for reimbursement
- Administration or indirect costs (defined as expenses incurred in controlling or directing an organization, but not directly identifiable with financing, marketing, or production operations) cannot be paid for with these grant funds

Grant funds will not be awarded to projects that solely benefit a specific commercial product. It will not benefit products that provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Grant funds cannot be put toward capital expenditures (equipment, buildings, land). They also may not be used to make improvements to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life.

Examples of Unacceptable Projects:
- A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop for the purpose of making a profit, or to expand production of a single business or organization
- A state requests grant funds to make grants to individual specialty crop businesses or roadside stands to promote their individual businesses
- A non-profit organization uses grant funds to purchase produce and then sells that produce to other entities at cost or a higher price than the purchase price while competing with other private companies who sell produce in the area
- A sole proprietor requests grant funds to redesign their logo to make their specialty crop value-added product stand out at the local farmers’ market
- A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership

For ineligible expenses, see: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/sites/default/files/Specialty%20Crop%20Grant%20Manual%202021%20-%20Additional%20Funding.pdf#page=20

Pre-Application Information:

Additional funding is available for 2021 projects. Applications are due by April 7, 2021 by 4:00 PM CST. No late submissions accepted.

Timeline:
- December 1, 2020: Open Request for Applications
- January 13, 2021 by 4:00 PM CST: Application Deadline
- March 2021: Review Panel Meets
- May 2021: NDDA Notifies Applicants of ND Awards
- May 2021: State Plan Submitted to USDA
- October 1, 2021: Anticipated Project Start Date
- September 30, 2023: Projects Conclude no Later Than

There is no limit on the number of proposals applicants may submit; however, each proposal should be for a wholly unique project. Applicants should not submit multiple proposals for a single project.

NDDA SCBGP does not have a cost-sharing or matching requirement. However, in some cases an applicant proposes cost-sharing or matching contributions as a mechanism to ensure all grant funds will solely enhance the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops. In this situation, the recipient of funds must keep adequate records to identify and document the specific costs or contributions proposed to meet the match or cost-share and document how the valuation was determined.

Requests for reimbursements will be accepted on a quarterly basis. Each reimbursement request must include an itemized invoice and documentation of the work or expenses for which payment is requested.

What is the SCBG Program: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/what-specialty-crop-block-grant-program

Purpose and Eligibility: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/purpose-and-eligibility

How to Apply: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/how-apply

Recipient Resources: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/recipient-resources

Contact Information:

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

Email the completed Project Profile and Cover Sheet (along with any letters of support) to scbg@nd.gov by due date.

Deanna Gierszewski
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Administrator
701.328.2191
Fax: 701-328-4567
degierszewski@nd.gov

North Dakota Department of Agriculture
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 602
Bismarck, ND 58505

CFDA Number:

10.170

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Dakota

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