First State agriculture is getting a boost from the federal government.
Delaware is receiving $359,000 from the feds’ Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
“This is actually a USDA-funded program; it’s actually funded through the Farm Bill. And we use that money to promote or enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops here in Delaware,” said Delaware Department of Agriculture marketing specialist JoAnn Walston.
She says the money is used for a variety of programs
"For either research or for education or for marketing. For like assisting producers with research and development with items that are relevant to specialty crops, expanding the availability and access to specialty crops,” said Walston.
Walston notes that the definition of specialty crops includes fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops and floriculture.
Walston says she will be hosting an informational grant workshop in two weeks,
“I will on April 3rd at 5 o’clock here at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, I will be holding a workshop for anybody that might already have an idea that we could discuss or just to go over the program with them. I will also give them some sample grants that we’ve funded in the past or some sample grants that the USDA provides for us.”
Walston says grants are available between $5,000 and $50,000 for projects that may last between one and three years in length.
She adds that agricultural producers, non-profit organizations, government entities, for-profit companies or educational institutions are eligible for the grants
The deadline to submit an application is April 22, 2019.