COLUMBUS—State Senator Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) recently announced that the Ohio Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which will provide funding for projects to enhance the competitiveness of crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and nursery crops.
"Northwest Ohio is known for our strong agricultural heritage, and we have some of the hardest working farmers in the state," said McColley. "I encourage anyone who may be eligible to apply for this grant so that we can continue to grow our economy and improve our ability to compete."
Grant funding is provided by the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. The deadline for on-line grant proposal submissions is May 1, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Grants will range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $150,000. In addition, all applicants must provide a minimum match of 25 percent of the requested grant amount.
Project proposals are sought that will advance the long-term economic viability of the state’s specialty crop industry, while increasing the marketability of specialty crops. Higher rankings will be given to projects that demonstrate profit potential for growers and that could boost employment opportunities in the specialty crop industry.
Food and agricultural non-profit organizations, associations or commodity groups, universities and research institutions are eligible to submit specialty crop proposals. To view SCBG projects previously funded by USDA visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/awards.
For more information on the 2018 program, available forms, or a copy of the request for proposals, visit the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website at agri.ohio.gov/apps/odaforms/odaforms.aspx.