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Specialty crops, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, honey, hops, grapes, maple syrup, Christmas trees, and nursery crops. The department is seeking applications for projects that aim to promote or enhance the production of and access to these specialty crops in Maryland.
According to Secretary Kevin Atticks, Maryland farmers have been finding great success by diversifying their crops or venturing into new specialty crop endeavors. The department hopes that this grant program will further support and encourage such efforts.
Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis with a minimum amount of $15,000 per project. In previous years, grants have ranged from $15,000 to $140,000. Projects must have a duration of up to two years and must conclude by November 15th 2026. Proposals will be evaluated based on their potential impact on specialty crop producers in Maryland.
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Applicants must either be residents of Maryland or have a business or educational affiliation within the state. Proposals can be submitted online through Maryland OneStop and must be completed by Sunday March 31st at 11:59 p.m. All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by the program manager and review committee.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is funded through the U.S. Farm Bill via the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and is administered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
To provide more information about the program and application process, an informational Zoom webinar will be held on Thursday February 22nd at 3:00 pm. For any questions or inquiries, interested parties can contact Karen Fedor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-841-5773. Additional information about the program can also be found on the department's website.
The deadline to apply for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is fast approaching, so eligible organizations and individuals are encouraged to submit their proposals before March 31st. This grant program presents a valuable opportunity for Maryland's specialty crop producers to enhance their competitiveness and contribute to the state's agricultural industry.
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