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Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications Now Open

South Carolina Department of Agriculture
Hugh E. Weathers, Commissioner

Media Contact: Eva Moore, 803-734-2196,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 14, 2020

Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications Now Open

COLUMBIA – Applications for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) are available at and are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020.  Applications must be submitted by email to

“The specialty crop industry is vital to the future of South Carolina agriculture,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “These grants encourage competition, entrepreneurship and innovation in farming, helping South Carolina farmers support their families and communities.”

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. The program is committed to strengthening the market for specialty crops, which are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture (including honey), and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Applicants should propose projects that provide one or more of the following benefits:

  • Enhanced food safety
  • Improved capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, Investment in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes
  • Development of new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops
  • Enhanced pest and disease control
  • Increased child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops
  • Increased efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems
  • Enhanced sustainability

Proposed projects must fall within the criteria as described in the application.

For more information, contact Betsy Dorton at 803-734-2210 or


Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications Now Open [PDF]


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