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California accepting proposals for 2016 specialty crop grants

Grants can be worth up to $450,000

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

Only weeks after announcing it will receive nearly $20 million in specialty crop funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, California is already accepting proposals for next year’s round of specialty crop grants.

“Specialty crops define much of California agriculture,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) secretary Karen Ross in an earlier press release. “This grant funding is an important piece of our partnership with the USDA as we work together to promote and protect a part of the food supply that is relied upon in California, across the country, and around the world.”

Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and floriculture.

Those interested in applying for specialty crop funding must follow a two-phase approach:

Phase one includes submitting a concept proposal that is subject to review by the CDFA and a panel of volunteers who are experts in related fields. Successful proposals will be invited to participate in phase two, which consists of a detailed grant proposal.

The CDFA will be holding a series of workshops and webinars to assist applicants with the process:

WorkshopWhenWhereTime
Orange CountyTuesday, November 3rdOC Fair and Event Center9:30 - 11:30AM
Fresno CountyWednesday, November 4thFresno County Farm Bureau9:30 - 11:30AM
Sacramento CountyTuesday, November 10University of Phoenix9:30 - 11:30AM

Webinars are scheduled for Thursday, November 5th from 1:30 - 3:30PM and Thursday, November 12th from 9:30 - 11:30AM

Concept proposals need to be submitted Friday, December 4th, by 5pm PST. Invitations to participate in phase two will be sent out in February 2016 and award announcements will be made in October 2016.

Join the discussion and tell us about any ideas you have for specialty crops in California. Would you consider applying for a grant?

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