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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;
  • improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example, by 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;
  • developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • pest and disease control;
  • increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems and;
  • sustainability.

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.

 

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  

Specialty Crop Funding Available

The Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program(SCMP). The SCMP offers grants to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by funding collaborative, multi-state projects that address the following regional or national level specialty crop issues: food safety; plant pests and disease; research; crop-specific projects addressing common issues; and marketing and promotion.  

 SCMP is funded through the Farm Bill and for 2017 there is approximately $7 million available to enhance the specialty crop industry.  Grant amounts range between $250,000 and $1,000,000.   

Applications for this grant will be submitted to the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) for screening before going to USDA to review. As an applicant, you will work only through MDA to submit materials. All information on applying can be found in the Request for Applications. Materials should be submitted to MDA through email at SCBG@MT.Gov by 5:00 PM MST on September 25, 2017. Late submissions will not be considered.

Note: Applicants will only be allowed to request 6% indirect expenses in their application. Additionally, applicants must include 2% of the total budget in a line item that will be retained by Montana Department of Agriculture for administration of the grant.  

On August 23, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will hold a teleconference for those interested in the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP). Please email Karin French at KarinR.French@usda.gov to register for the teleconference.

   

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.

SCBG News

Grown in Montana Store kicks off at Montana State Fair

Nearly 20 companies participating this year

Grown in Montana Store kicks off at Montana State Fair

Great Falls, Mont.—The Montana Department of Agriculture will host the Grown in Montana Store at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, July 28th through August 5th. The Grown in Montana Store will showcase value-added agriculture products that are grown in Montana and processed by Montana businesses. Nearly 20 Montana companies from all corners of the state will have products available for purchase.

New Montana Apples Website supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant

New Montana Apples Website supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant
Take a look at the new Montana Apples website, supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) from the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Ag Development Council extends GTA program deadline

Deadline extended to November 15, 2017

Ag Development Council extends GTA program deadline

Helena, Mont. – The Agriculture Development Council met last week and voted to extend the deadline for the popular Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program, from September 15, 2017 to November 15, 2017. The deadline was extended to allow more time for producers to apply for funding.

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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