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CDFA accepting Specialty Crop Block Grant proposals

The California Department of Food & Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program designed to enhance the competitiveness of the Golden State’s specialty crops.

For purposes of this program, specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $400,000 per project. Funding is contingent upon passage of a farm bill and availability of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The competitive process begins with submission of concept proposals by eligible non-profit organizations; local, state and federal government entities, including tribal governments; for-profit organizations; and public and private colleges and universities. Successful applicants will be invited to participate in Phase II of the process — submission of a grant proposal.

Applicants must access the Notice of Funding Availability at www.cdfa.ca.gov/grants for detailed instructions. To streamline and expedite the application process, CDFA partners with the California State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts an online application site using the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool. All applicants must register for a FAAST account at https://faast.waterboards.ca.gov.

All concept proposals must be submitted electronically using FAAST by Friday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. PST.

Prospective applicants may contact CDFA’s Federal Funds Management Office at 916/657-3231, orgrants@cdfa.ca.gov.