we have additional funding for 2021 projects*

applications are due by 4:00 pm CT, april 7, 2021.

*Pending applications need not re-apply.


Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding

The purpose of the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. USDA defines specialty crops as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Enhancing competitiveness may include developing local and rural food systems and improving food access in underserved communities.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is part of the Farm Bill. It is administered across the nation by state departments of agriculture. In North Dakota, applicants submit proposals for the federal funding through NDDA. Successful applicants will execute all aspects of the grant proposal approved by USDA while NDDA monitors progress and acts as the fiscal agent.

Grant funds will not be awarded to projects that solely benefit a specific commercial product. It will not benefit products that provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Grant funds cannot be put toward capital expenditures (equipment, buildings, land). They also may not be used to make improvements to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life. Each project funded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will be carried out over a two-year timeframe.


Eligibility Information

Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations related to North Dakota’s specialty crop industry. Individuals, individual producers, for-profit businesses, or commercial entities may submit proposals. However, the project must focus on research, education, or demonstration and must benefit the specialty crop industry in a manner that can be replicated by other organizations.

Additional notes to help you determine whether your project is eligible:

  • Projects must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Consider carefully whether your project is likely to have “spillover” benefits for non-specialty crops and whether the SCBGP is the best fit for your project
  • Projects must benefit more than one product or organization. The SCBGP will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a single commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. This means that the program will not provide funds to start or expand a farm or other business venture
  • In addition, recipients cannot use grant funds to compete unfairly with private companies that offer equivalent products or services
  • Please note that hemp is not considered a "specialty crop"


2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Timeline

Timelines/Deadlines Description
December 1, 2020 Open Request for Applications
January 13, 2021 by 4:00 pm CST Application Deadline
March 2021 Review Panel Meets
May 2021 NDDA Notifies Applicants of ND Awards
May 2021 State Plan Submitted to USDA
October 1, 2021 Anticipated Project Start Date
September 30, 2023 Projects Conclude no Later Than

The links below provide detailed information on how to apply, as well as the complete set of application documents.


2021 Specialty Crop Grant Application Materials


How to Apply


Grantee Requirements

Successful grantees are expected to:

  • To sign a Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) with the NDDA indicating their intention to complete the proposed tasks and authorizing NDDA to monitor the progress of the proposed project
  • To sign a requirement for NOGA document stating that you understand the terms and conditions of the agreement and the federal laws that need to be followed
  • To set up an account with ND OMB office in order to receive payments
  • To manage the grant financial expenses as this grant is strictly on a reimbursement basis
  • To regularly report on grant activities and financials, using provided templates
  • To manage the grant financial records and documentation to ensure SCBGP funds are being used for their intended purpose in compliance with Federal cost principles and regulations
  • Must have DUNS Number and be registered under SAM.gov



Back to SCBGP Landing Page


How to Apply Contacts

Deanna Gierszewski

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Administrator
ND Department of Agriculture 600 E Boulevard Ave Dept. 602 Bismarck, ND 58505-0020