Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program now accepting proposals

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is now accepting proposals for the 2011 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Vermont’s federal allocation for this funding cycle is estimated at $229,000. These grant funds are for the sole purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of Vermont-grown Specialty Crops, and will be distributed to through a competitive review process. The complete RFP and required cover sheet can be found online here: is external).  Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops (including floriculture and turf production). The USDA maintains a list of eligible specialty crops on its website: is external). Projects may be up to three calendar years in length, and multi-state projects are encouraged. Applications for grant funds should show how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has identified the following program goals for FY2011:1.       Increase the competitiveness of organic and/or sustainable production systems.2.       Increase access to Vermont-grown specialty crops by low-income Vermonters (including but not limited to: nutrition and/or cooking education; incentives for purchasing fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets; and increasing availability of local fruits and vegetables at rural convenience stores).Proposals that demonstrate innovative approaches to achieving these goals will earn additional points during the review process.  Applicants have the option of submitting a brief (1 page or less) letter of interest by April 11. The deadline for the full proposal is May 13. Electronic submission is requested. ###last_img read more