The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is accepting applications for the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).
This year's application process will be streamlined compared to past years. Applicants must submit a two-page "Concept Proposal" for competitive review. Selected projects will then be required to submit a formal grant proposal. Applicants have until March 15, 2013, to submit their two-page proposal.
"Since 2007, WVDA has awarded more than $1.5 million dollars into development of the West Virginia specialty crop industry," said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. "We are looking for innovative ideas that maximize the return on these grant dollars by growing farm revenue. I hope that the new application process will encourage even more applicants so we can find and fund the very best projects."
Funding for 2013 is expected to be approximately $180,000. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, integrated technology at the farm level, measurable improved marketing and promotion of locally grown specialty crops, research that increases production efficiency, programs that encourage youth production and entrepreneurship with specialty crops, farm to school concepts and beginning or minority owner farmer initiatives.
The program is available to groups and organizations involved in the production, processing and/or marketing of fruits and vegetables. Value-added products, such as commercially jarred products, are also eligible if they meet content criteria.
In addition to the Concept Proposal application, instructions and a complete grant document detailing qualifications, procedures, program priorities and eligible products is available at www.wvagriculture.org/SCBGP
, or by contacting WVDA Marketing Specialist Melissa Beller at 304-558-2210, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SCBGP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by WVDA.