The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is pleased to announce a new grant program to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was established by the 2008 Farm Bill.    

The GDA has set up a competitive grant process to award these federal funds in 2010. GDA will be administering funds totaling $907,074.60 for the development of projects that will support and enhance the competitiveness of Specialty Crops in Georgia. GDA intent is to fund projects that can produce the highest degree of measurable benefits to Georgia’s specialty crop producers in relation to each dollar spent.

Projects that benefit the following specialty crops are eligible; Fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turfgrass/sod, and nursery and greenhouse crops are eligible specialty crops.

GDA is seeking applications from organizations that seek to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Georgia including; non-profit organizations and corporations, commodity associations, state and local government entities, colleges, and universities. Applicants must reside or their business or educational affiliation must be in Georgia.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Rules state: Grant funds will NOT be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

Grant applications must be submitted by 5:00pm on June 1, 2010. Please refer to the links on this page for the grant application, guidelines, and additional information.

GDA will accept grant applications with a value of up to $150,000 and a minimum of $10,000. Grants will be awarded for up to three years. Once all applications are submitted to GDA, each one will be carefully reviewed and evaluated. All GDA approved projects will then be developed into one grant submission to the USDA. Upon approval from USDA, GDA will notify applicants (sub-grantees) of their status. No final awards to any sub-grantee will be made until a final grant award is made to GDA (grantor) by USDA. Final approval is expected by August 1, 2010, but is subject to change.

For questions or additional information contact:
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Specialty Crops Block Grant Program
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30334
or email: