USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to Minnesota
August 26, 2022
WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $1.3 million in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Minnesota. This USDA grant will help the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.
“USDA applauds Minnesota’s continued commitment to supporting our nation’s producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded will foster innovative research and new market opportunities within the specialty crop sector, while furthering USDA’s goals of creating a more fair and equitable food system and supporting local and regional producers.”
Through the SCBGP, the MDA is funding 11 projects. Among the projects, is funding awarded to Twin Cities Berry Company LLC, a research and production farm. The farm will use funding to develop climate resilient practices for high-density strawberry production within protected culture structures. The research will help new and emerging farmers overcome spatial and environmental hurdles to achieve financial sustainability. Additional funded projects focus in areas such as pest management, farm to school marketing, and water management.
“The more paths to success we can offer Minnesota farmers, the better our state’s agricultural future will be,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “This funding will increase the state’s capacity to grow a wider variety of profitable crops. We’re thankful the USDA recognizes the importance of those efforts.”
More information about these awards is available on this webpage: 2022 SCBGP Awarded Grants (pdf).
The funding to Minnesota is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2022 SCBGP funding awarded to 55 states, territories and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.
The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2022 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning September 30, 2022. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $953 million through the SCBGP to fund 11,331 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and broadened the market for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.