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Specialty Crop Funding Available

The Montana Department of Agriculture is pleased to present the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG). The purpose of this program is solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana. For purposes of the program, specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, peas and lentils, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).
 
Notice of Funding
Applications due: February 22, 2017
 
Application Materials
SCBG Grant Proposal Manual - to guide applicants through the Grant Proposal process.
Appendix A - Applicant Self-Assessment Form
Appendix B - Application Template
Appendix C - Budget Template
Appendix D - Expected Measurable Outcomes
Notes on Select Cost Items
Previously Funded Projects
 
Applications are Due February 22, 2017 at 5:00 PM MST. Late applications will not be considered for funding.
 
Submitting a Grant Proposal
All applications must be submitted through fundingmt.org. The instructions below outline the basic procedures of operating the Webgrants system.

The below documents provide guidance on navigating the Webgrants system: 

Registering for fundingmt.org
Webgrants quick navigation
Starting a grant application
Submitting a grant application

Questions regarding funding.mt.gov should be directed to the SCBG Program Manager.
Applications are Due February 22, 2017 at 5:00 PM MST.
  

Technical Assistance
Wednesday Feb 1, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM MST
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/369707133
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll-free): 1 877 309 2073
Access code: 369-707-133

Open Question and Answer
Wednesday Feb 15, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM MST
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/385980685
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States (Toll-free): 1 877 309 2073
Access code: 385-980-685
 
Program Priorities
Providing Farmer Education on Specialty Crop:

  • Farm to institution practices
  • Value-added production
  • Disease and pest management
  • Farm and food safety
  • Organic and non-organic food production
  • Use of beneficial organisms
  • Business development

Supporting Research in the areas of Specialty Crop:

  • Disease and pest management
  • Variety testing and selection
  • Organic and non-organic food production
  • Use of beneficial organisms

Planning and supporting Infrastructures that create or support Specialty Crop:

  • Storage
  • Processing
  • Farm to institute
  • Pest management assistance for farmers

Increasing Consumer Awareness of the Value of Specialty Crops through:

  • Education
  • Market Development

Representing a Geographic Diversity of Projects Across the State

 

  • Eligibility
  • Applying
  • Grant Management
  • Grant Compliance

Definition of Specialty Crops

The Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act of 2004 and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 have defined specialty crops as "fruits and vegetables, peas and lentils, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture)."

Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall constitute greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.

Download tables (pdf format) listing plants commonly considered fruits and tree nuts, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, as well as nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops. There is also a separate list of ineligible commodities. These lists are not intended to be all inclusive, but rather to provide examples of the most common specialty crops.

For a summary list geared towards Montana production, download the SCBG list of crops commonly considered Montana-specific, also included below. This list also includes ineligible Montana crops.

Eligible Entities

Entities eligible for applying for SCBG funds are:

  • state and/or local organizations
  • government entities
  • producer associations
  • academia
  • community based organizations
  • other specialty crop stakeholders.

Eligible Projects

To be eligible for a grant, the project(s) must solely enhance the competitiveness of U.S. or U.S. territory grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets. Projects must also benefit more than one commercial product (e.g., ABC Company brand), organization, or individual.

Examples of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops include, but are not limited to: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, "buy local" programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development, and developing cooperatives.

MDA encourages applicants to develop projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry: increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops; 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 research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes; enhancing food safety; developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops; pest and disease control; and development of organic and sustainable production practices.

Previously-Funded Projects

(Documents linked below are in pdf format)

Montana Ineligible Crops

     
Alfalfa Eggs Quinoa
Barley Flax Range Grasses
Buckwheat Hay Safflower
Canola Livestock Products Soybeans
Canola Oil Millet Sugar Beets
Dairy Products Oats Triticale
Wheat    

Montana Eligible Crops: Fruits

     
Apple Gooseberry Plum (including Prune)
Apricot Grape (including Raisin) Raspberry
Blackberry Nectarine Strawberry
Blueberry Peach  
Cherry Pear  

Montana Eligible Crops: Vegetables

     
Artichoke Cucumber Parsnip
Asparagus Edamame Pepper
Bean Eggplant Potato
Snap or Green Endive Pulse Crops
Lima Garlic Pumpkin
Dry, Edible Horseradish Radish (all types)
Beet, Table Kohlrabi Rhubarb
Broccoli (including Broccoli Raab) Leek Rutabaga
Brussel Sprouts Legumes Salsify
Cabbage (including Chinese) Lentil Spinach
Carrot Lettuce Squash (Summer and Winter)
Cauliflower Melon (all types) Sweet Corn
Celeriac Mushroom (Cultivated) Swiss Chard
Celery Mustard and other greens Tomato (including Tomatillo)
Chive Pea Turnip
Collards (including Kale) Garden, English or Edible Pod Watermelon
Onion Parsley  

Montana Eligible Crops: Culinary Herbs & Spices

     
Ajwain Cinnamon Mace
Allspice Clary Mahlab
Angelica Cloves Malabathrum
Anise Comfrey Marjoram
Annatto Common Rue Mint (all types)
Artemisia (all types) Coriander Nutmeg
Asafetida Cress Oregano
Basil (all types) Cumin Orris Root
Bay (Cultivated) Curry Parika
Bladder Wrack Dill Parsley
Bolivian Coriander Fennel Pepper
Borage Fenugreek Rocket (Arugula)
Calendula Filé (Gumbo, Cultivated) Rosemary
Chamomile Fingerroot Rue
Candle Nut French Sorrel Saffron
Caper Galangal Sage (all types)
Caraway Ginger Savory (all types)
Cardamom Hops Tarragon
Cassia Horehound Thyme
Catnip Hysspo Turmeric
Chervil Lavender Vanilla
Chicory Lemon Balm Wasabi
Cicely Lemon Thyme Water Cress
Cilantro Lovage  

Montana Eligible Crops: Medicinal Herbs

     
Artemisia Goat's Rue Senna
Arum Goldenseal Skullcap
Astragalus Gypsywort Sonchus
Boldo Horehound Sorrel
Buena Horsetail Stevia
Cananga Lavender Urtica
Comfrey Liquorice Witch Hazel
Coneflower Marshmallow Wood Betony
Fenugreek Mullein Wormwood
Feverfew Passion Flower Yarrow
Foxglove Patchouli Yerba
Gingko Biloba Pennyroyal  
Ginseng Pokeweed  

Montana Eligible Crops: Nursery, Floriculture & Horticulture Crops

Includes the selections below.
     
Horticulture: Honey, Hops, Turfgrass Carnation Broadleaf Evergreens
Annual Bedding Plants: Flowers and Vegetables Cut Cultivated Greens Deciduous Shade Trees
Potted Flowering Plants Foliage Plants Landscape Conifers
Potted Herbaceous Plants Christmas Trees Deciduous Shrubs
Cut Flowers Deciduous Flowering Trees  

SCBG Purpose

The purpose of this program is solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:

  • enhancing food safety;
  • investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • pest and disease control; and development of organic and sustainable production practices;
  • increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain 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;
  • improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
  • developing local and regional food systems; and
  • improving food access in underserved communities.

For purposes of the program, specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, peas and lentils, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Refer to the tabs below for additional information on eligibility, the application process, grant management resources, and grant compliance resources.

Successful applicants (Grantees) will typically be notified by October.

Grantee Requirements

In general, grantees are expected to:

  • To sign a Grant Award Agreement with the MDA indicating their intention to complete the proposed tasks and authorizing MDA to monitor the progress of the proposed project;
  • To regularly report on grant activities and financials, using provided templates; and
  • To manage the grant financial records and documentation to ensure SCBG funds are being used for their intended purpose in compliance with Federal cost principles and regulations. Guidance on grant management is provided below.

Grant Management

To help Grantees with management, MDA has provided the following guidance:

Funds

The following templates are provided for SCBG Grantees:

Amendments

Project amendment forms are being updated. Contact the SCBG Coordinator for additional information.

Reporting Schedule

2015 Grantees

Must complete reports through the WebGrants system at www.fundingmt.org. The above reporting documents may be used as templates for completing reports prior to entering information into WebGrants.

Produce Safety Plan Workshops Offered in March

March 2-3 in Billings, March 6-7 in Corvallis and March 9-10 in Kalispell

Produce Safety Plan Workshops Offered in March

Helena, Mont. – Fresh produce farmers will receive training and help developing their on-farm food safety Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) plans in three locations throughout Montana this March. The On-Farm Food Safety GAP Workshops will guide participants through the plan writing process. The workshops will be led by food safety experts Nancy Matheson, David Wise, and Jonda Crosby, and will be held March 2-3 in Billings, March 6-7 in Corvallis and March 9-10 in Kalispell.

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session
Are you interested in bills at the 2017 Montana Legislature that may affect agriculture? Use the Montana Legislative Branch's online LAWS website to look up current bill information.

Montana Department of Agriculture requesting Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications

Nearly $1.3 million in funding available for Montana agriculture

Montana Department of Agriculture requesting Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for an estimated $1.3 million in federal funding available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. This competitive grant program is designed to expand markets for Montana specialty crops. 

Specialty Crop
Block Grant Program (SCBG)

Phone : (406) 444-5424
E-mail : SCBG@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9442
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Specialty Crop Block Grant Forms & Files

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