Monday, November 28, 2011

Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grant

USDA is offering the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) grant which was established to solve critical industry issues through research and extension activities. SCRI will give priority to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary; and include explicit mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas: research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics; efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators; efforts to improve production efficiency, productivity, and profitability over the long term; new innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening; and methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production and processing of specialty crops. Applications are due January 31, 2012. Prospective applicants are asked to email a notification of intent to submit an application by close of business on November 25, 2011

Eligible Applicants include: Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, Private institutions of higher education, Individuals, For profit organizations other than small businesses, and Small businesses.

More information is available here. 

matching grant to enhance wildlife habitate, watershed health and community based foresty projects

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) offers a Matching Awards Program (MAP) to provide support to nonprofit organizations and Native American tribes throughout the U.S. to engage in on-the-ground conservation and citizen-based monitoring projects benefiting National Forests and Grasslands. MAP funds can be used to support conservation and restoration projects enhancing wildlife habitat, recreation, watershed health, and community-based forestry.  A common thread connecting NFF program areas is an interest in action-oriented projects that enhance the viability of natural resources while benefiting and directly engaging surrounding communities. The NFF will accept applications from non-governmental, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and Native American tribes working on or adjacent to National Forests and Grasslands throughout the United States.

All grants require at least a one-to-one cash match through non-federal donations. The application deadline is January 17, 2012.

Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about the application process. MAP projects are selected for funding through a two-stage process. Applicants must first complete an online questionnaire. Those that successfully complete the questionnaire are invited to submit a proposal to the NFF.
And a helpful webinar with more information regarding this program can be found here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Webinar for interested Specialty Crop Block Grant Applicants

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is offering a free interactive webinar for those interested in learning more about how to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grants in their state.  This webinar will share  information on how you can use these grant funds to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.  Many projects funded in the past by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program focus on marketing and promotion, education, production, research, food safety, and pest and plant health.

Specialty crop project applications must be submitted to your State Department of Agriculture for funding consideration. State Departments of Agriculture are encouraged to partner with specialty crop stakeholders, including socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers.

There will be a live question and answer session following the formal webinar presentation. Attendees of previous webinar sessions have included growers, processors, packers and distributors of all sized operations and others along the produce supply chain, as well as representatives from academia and government.

Details regarding the time and date of the webinar are below.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011

Subject: USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Don’t miss this informative webinar. Visit to register before the Dec. 9, 2011 deadline.

Or, for more information about the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program visit USDA's website at

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