The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been allocated funds this federal fiscal year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program additional funding, H.R. 133 Stimulus Funds. Congress has provided additional funding (H.R. 133) due to COVID-19 impacts on the food system. These funds will support and include projects by organizations to assist farmworkers, projects to fund farmers, food businesses, and other relevant entities to respond to risks and supply chain disruptions, 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 tentatively start May 1, 2022, and the final end date will be September 29, 2025, 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:
- Improving specialty crop industry affected by COVID 19;
- 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 are due by 4:00 pm, November 29, and must be sent to AGR.ISCBG@illinois.gov.
Click here for Proposal Submission Details.
Program Contact InformationNicole Moore
Illinois Department of Agriculture
801 E. Sangamon Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702