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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

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).



2019 Application Materials

*Applications due February 6, 2019*

SCBG Request for Proposals Manual - Read this first

Required Application Forms:

*Note that an early version of the application narrative form listed 9/29/2021 as the latest possible end date. The correct last possible end date is 9/29/2022.

Other Reference Items:

Submitting a Grant Proposal

All applications must be submitted through fundingmt.org. The instructions below outline the basic procedures of operating the Webgrants system.

Technical Assistance

  • SCBG Question and Answer Call One:

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM MST
Call: 406-444-4647
Access code: 7554538#

  • SCBG Question and Answer Call Two:

Monday, February 4, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM MST
Call: 406-444-4647
Access code: 4959083#


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

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.

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.

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  

Program 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.


Grant Management

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:

Amendments

Contact the SCBG Coordinator for additional information.


 

Grant Compliance

Federal

Grant Terms & Conditions

Frequently Cited State Policies

SCBG News

2019 Montana Food Show Vendors - Still Time to Register

Final deadline for vendor registration extended to August 16th

2019 Montana Food Show Vendors - Still Time to Register

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting the third annual Montana Food Show September 27, 2019 at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman. Interested in being a 2019 Vendor? Click here for online Vendor Registration.

2019 Montana Beverage Show Buyer Registration Now Open

Beverage show will be held November 4, 2019 at the Delta Hotels Marriott Helena Colonial in Helena

2019 Montana Beverage Show Buyer Registration Now Open

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting the first annual Montana Beverage Show November 4, 2019 at the Detla Hotels Marriott Helena Colonial in Helena.

You’ve asked for it and we’re making it happen! When surveyed, an overwhelming majority of respondents were interested in participating in a Montana Beverage Show. Out of that group, 80% said they were ready for a show in 2019! This show is aimed at connecting Montana beverage makers with buyers looking for these types of products.

You can expect to see:

  • Breweries
  • Distilleries
  • Wineries
  • Cideries
  • Meaderies
  • And more!

Buyer registration is now open - click here to learn more and start the registration process.

Questions about the show? Contact Charsi Workman at (406) 444-5425 or charsi.workman@mt.gov.

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Application Deadline is November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – Folks across Montana looking to create or expand their operation or agriculture business now have the opportunity to access state grant dollars, as the 2019 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program is open.

“Our Growth Through Agriculture program has provided Montana’s producers and small-business owners with vital funding to help create jobs in their communities and add value to our state’s ag products,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Ben Thomas. “With our ag industry becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking forward to seeing this next round of applications.”

Those interested in applying for GTA funds should visit www.gta.mt.gov and www.fundingmt.org for more information on how to apply.​

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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