Time Change for Specialty Crop Grant Deadline; Application Deadline is May 20 at 11:59 p.m.

MDA LogoANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will accept grant applications until 11:59 pm on May 20, 2013 for the Specialty Crop Block Grant program. The competitive grant program will fund projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was established by the 2008 Farm Bill.

Electronic grant applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 20, 2013. Paper applications must be postmarked by May 20, 2013.

MDA will administer grant funds of approximately $390,000. Of this amount, food safety, marketing with Maryland’s Best, and efficiency of distribution systems will be awarded for projects with a minimum level of $15,000. MDA intends to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Maryland specialty crop producers in relation to each dollar spent and need to have the support from specialty crop producers. New this year, grants will be reimbursement grants.

Specialty crops are defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops. For a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops.

MDA is seeking applications from eligible non-profit organizations, government entities, for-profit and organizations for projects that aim to promote or enhance the production of and access to Maryland specialty crops. Applicants must reside or their business or educational affiliation must be in Maryland.

For questions about the grant application, to register for the conference call, or to download the application, visit www.mda.maryland.gov, or contact Karen Fedor at Karen.fedor@maryland.gov or 410-841-5773.

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