Baton Rouge, La. – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is now accepting applications for the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., announced on March 31.
Applications must be received no later than close of business (4:30 p.m.) May 9, 2016.
The LDAF will administer the grant program funded through the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS). The USDA allocated $314,385.77 to fund Louisiana projects. For full detail, visit Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry at http://bit.ly/1TwQxNA
The grants are to be used for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Louisiana-grown specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turf grass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops.
Individual farms are not eligible to apply; however, producer associations, state and/or local organizations, state or local governments, qualified educational institutions, non-profits and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible recipients. Applicants must reside in or their business or educational affiliation must be in Louisiana.
All applicants are required to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and include that number on their application. LDAF will accept grant applications with a yearly budget value of up to $100,000. Grants can be awarded for projects lasting up to two years and 11 months. All LDAF approved projects will be incorporated into one state grant request, which will be submitted to the USDA.
LDAF has prepared a Request for Applications (RFA) document detailing application instructions, scoring criteria, federal forms, project format examples and other helpful information from the USDA. The document may be found at http://bit.ly/1PQI9Si.
A complete list of eligible specialty crops is available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSc1.o/scbgdefinitions.
For more information, contact Michelle Estay, director of Commodity Promotion and Research at 985-345-9483.