Specialty crop grant program workshops

Over $500,000 in funding is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture is holding virtual workshops in January 2023 in preparation for the Feb. 14 grant proposal deadline.

Outreach workshops for potential applicants to learn more and to gain a better understanding of the program will be held Jan. 10 at 1 p.m.; Jan. 13 at 7:30 a.m.; Jan. 17 at noon.

After registering, individuals will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If someone is unable to attend any of the workshops, he or she may schedule a one-on-one meeting by emailing [email protected] by Jan. 17. Emails must include the preferred date and time.

The USDA established the grant program to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, which are defined by the USDA as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.” Through enhanced competitiveness of specialty crops, the goal is to improve food access in underserved communities and improve development of local and rural food systems.

All project proposals must prioritize either marketing, training, certification, food safety, pest control or plant health for the benefit of specialty crops and must be submitted to NMDA for review by a panel of staff and experts by Feb. 14.