Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Pennsylvania's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program was created to enhance the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program by establishing a state-level program for crops not currently eligible federally or that are otherwise designated as high-priority specialty crops by the Secretary.
This grant funding is to assist with the growth, certification of seed, and marketing of eligible crops including hemp, hardwoods, honey, and hops; and barley, rye, and wheat for distilling, brewing, and malting purposes only.
Projects must enhance the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops and benefit the eligible specialty crops' industry as a whole and may include, but are not limited to, projects such as:
- Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops.
- Participation of industry representatives at meetings of international standard setting bodies in which the Federal Government participates.
- Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems.
- Assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chains in developing good agricultural practices, good handling practices, good manufacturing practices and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors.
- Investing in specialty crop research, including organic research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes and enhancing food safety.
- Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops.
- Pest and disease control.
State and local organizations, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other eligible specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply for grants under the program. Individual producers are not eligible for this program.
$460,000 is available for grants under the program and will be allocated as follows:
- 6.2% will be allocated to recipients and projects located in rural municipalities where at least 20% of the population has been below the Federal poverty line since 1990;
- 3.8% will be allocated to recipients and projects located in urban municipalities where at least 20% of the population has been below the Federal poverty line since 1990;
- Remaining funding after the above allocations will be allocated to recipients and projects through even distribution among eligible specialty crops, and, where practical, in a manner that distributes the funds across Pennsylvania.