The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been allocated funds next federal fiscal year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). These funds will support projects beginning in the calendar year 2024 that are intended to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen the competitiveness of the state's specialty crop industry. The proposal grant cycle will start February 1, 2023, and the final end date will be September 29, 2026, and the maximum grant award will be $75,000.00.
Illinois currently devotes more than 100,000 acres of farmland to growing specialty crops, which produce nearly $500 million in sales for Illinois farmers. To encourage further expansion of this industry, and to take full advantage of the allocated funds, the Department invites the development of projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:
- Enhancing food safety;
- Improving compliance with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act;
- Investing in specialty crop research and technology;
- Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
- Improving pest and disease control;
- Improving Food Access in Underserved Communities and Among Veterans
- Protecting and improving pollinator health;
- Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
- Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops.
Grants will be awarded through a competitive review process that includes the use of an independent committee of stakeholders from the agricultural community. Project proposals will be due by 4:00 pm on March 17th and directions on how to apply will be posted soon.
Click here for Proposal Submission Details.
Program Contact InformationHannah McGee
Illinois Department of Agriculture
801 E. Sangamon Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702