WSDA Accepting Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications

The Washington State Department of Agriculture received $4.65 million in federal Specialty Crop Block Grant funds in 2020. Project Manager Leisa Schumaker said the funds are made available as part of the Farm Bill to increase the competitiveness and demand of Washington’s specialty crops.

“So there’s a lot of ways that they do this such as marketing our state specialty crops locally and internationally by helping to expand access to our foreign markets. Some of the projects provide training for our growers, farmworkers, and consumers of specialty crops. Then our universities conduct some research for many of our specialty crops throughout the state.”

Specialty crops include products like sweet cherries, apples, pears, hops, tree nuts, raspberries and more. Awards this year ranged from $61,000 to $250,000, with 21 projects receiving funding.

“We fund non-profit agricultural organizations, associations, universities that do research on specialty crops,” Schumaker noted. “We don’t fund individuals. The reason behind that is because we need to be able to provide a benefit to a wide group of people.”

WSDA’s application process is underway for 2021 projects, the application deadline is January 14th. For more, or to apply, check out the WSDA’s Website.

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