CDA now Accepting Applications for Specialty Crop Grant Program

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is now accepting applications for USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. USDA partners with state departments of agriculture through the annual grant program to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in areas including promotion, education, research, trade, and nutrition. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops including floriculture and sod. 

CDA anticipates that approximately $700,000 will be available for this year’s grant awards, with approved projects starting in early 2022. Producer groups, organizations, and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia, and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Grants will not be awarded to projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.

“It is inspiring to see the innovative and important work being done by producers and organizations, year after year, to enhance the competitiveness of Colorado-grown fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops,” said CDA Grants Specialist Jennifer Benson.

In recent years, funds have been awarded to dozens of organizations, helping them to conduct research and create new market opportunities for specialty crops. Recent grants included funds for the Colorado Farmers Market Association to promote specialty crops at farmers’ markets and for the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee to distribute locally-grown potatoes to public schools along with educational content for students, faculty, and parents.

Interested applicants should submit a concept outlining a proposed project. Concept proposals will then undergo a competitive review process, and those selected will be invited to submit a full application to be included in Colorado’s state plan to USDA. Concept proposals must be received electronically, at, by 5:00 p.m. on February 15, 2021. Program guidelines and application materials are available here.  

The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state’s agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.