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Agriculture Secretary Invites Proposals for $460,000 State Specialty Crop Block Grants to ‘Cultivate Tomorrow’

01/13/2021

Harrisburg, PA - Today, during the 2021 Virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show, Agriculture Russell Redding invited proposals for $460,000 in funding through the state’s Specialty Crop Block Grants created under the PA Farm Bill in 2019 and renewed for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year. Eligible projects will enhance the competitive position and stimulate market growth for crops designated as high priority because of their growth potential and importance for environmental sustainability. Conservation cover crops were added to the list of eligible crops for the program’s second year.

“Our 2021 Farm Show theme is ‘Cultivating Tomorrow’,” Secretary Redding said. “What better time to announce funding that will support market growth in key crops and cultivate healthier soil, water and seed resources those crops need to sustain future growth? These grants — and all of the funding seeded by the Pennsylvania Farm Bill — quite literally cultivate tomorrow.”

State Specialty Crop Block Grants enhance, rather than replace federal block grants, and are available to fund specialty crops designated as high priority crops in the state: hemp, hops, hardwoods, honey; barley, rye and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting; and conservation cover crops. Eligible projects enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of specialty crops, for example, through research to increase conservation and environmental outcomes, enhance food safety, develop new and improved certified seed varieties, or improve pest and disease control. A percentage of funds will be designated to projects in rural communities with at least 20 percent of the population below the federal poverty line.

Recipients of 2019-20 Grant Awards along with a summary of eligibility and potential uses of funding can be found at agriculture.pa.gov/pafarmbill. Full grant guidelines will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on Saturday, January 23, and project proposals will be accepted January 25 through 4:59 PM on March 5, 2021. Funded projects must be completed by June 20, 2023.

State Specialty Crop Block Grants were created under the historic Pennsylvania Farm Bill, Governor Wolf’s bold, aggressive, and necessary investments in Pennsylvania agriculture to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and inspire future generations of agriculture leaders.

MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Powers - 717.603.2056, shpowers@pa.gov

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