Deadline approaching for specialty crop grant applications

BISMARCK – The application deadline for the 2018 Specialty Crop Grants is just over a week away.

“Projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in North Dakota are eligible for these grants,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Individuals, organizations and institutions are invited to submit proposals, either on their own or in partnerships.”

North Dakota has not yet received an allocation amount from USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service but is expected to receive it soon. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) will distribute the funds through a competitive grant program. Projects must benefit more than one commercial product, organization, institution or individual.

USDA defines specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.” Specialty crops grown commercially in North Dakota include dry beans, dry peas, lentils, potatoes, confection sunflowers, grapes, honey and various vegetables.

Goehring said an information manual with application instructions, scoring criteria and an application template can be found on NDDA’s website: https://www.nd.gov/ndda/marketing-information-division/specialty-crop-bl....

Applications must be submitted in electronic form by 4 p.m. CDT Thursday, March 15, 2018. An external review committee will review and score the applications. The successful applications will be forwarded to the USDA for final approval. The grants will be awarded in late fall/early winter.

Projects funded by the grants start Oct. 1, 2018 and must be completed by Sept. 30, 2020.

Goehring said persons needing more information should contact Dustin Monke at 701-328-4763 or dmonke@nd.gov.