Weathers Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Recipients
South Carolina Department of Agriculture
Hugh Weathers, Commissioner
Meredith Atkinson, 803-734-2196, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 6, 2014
South Carolina Department of Agriculture announces recipients of Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
COLUMBIA, S.C. South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh E. Weathers is pleased to announce the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) will receive $601,985.85 to fund nineteen projects that are geared towards the increased production of fruits and vegetables in South Carolina. These funds are made available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program; a program that is an appropriation of the Farm Bill.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is designed to strengthen the marketplace for locally grown fruits, vegetables and nursery crops in each state or U.S. territory. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) oversees the SCBGP, and uses a formulaic method to determine the amount of funding each state or territory receives.
Each March, SCDA encourages research scientists, extension agents, specialty crop commodity boards, and non-profit organizations to apply for funding under this program. Applicants must propose projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of fruit and vegetable farmers, and/or strengthen local economies through the increased production of specialty crops. Special consideration is given to proposals that increase nutritional knowledge, enhance food safety, minimize food insecurity, develop new conservation standards, and support research in new/improved seed varieties in specialty crops.
The majority of this award will flow through SCDA to other organizations throughout the state. The project organizations included in this fiscal year’s funding include Lowcountry Local First, the People’s Farmer Cooperative, Hub City Farmers Market, Freewoods Farm Foundation, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Palmetto Agribusiness Council, the SC Coastal Conservation League, the Catawba Food Coalition, the SC Nursery and Landscape Association and Clemson University.
For more information, please contact Amy London, SCDA Grants Coordinator at email@example.com or 803-734-7209.