Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding
The purpose of the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. USDA defines specialty crops as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Enhancing competitiveness may include developing local and rural food systems and improving food access in underserved communities.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is part of the Farm Bill. It’s administered across the nation by state departments of agriculture. In New Mexico, applicants submit proposals for the federal funding through NMDA. Successful applicants execute the work plan and all other aspects of the grant proposal, while NMDA monitors progress and acts as the fiscal agent.
Grant funds will not be awarded to projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Grant funds cannot be put toward capital expenditures (equipment, buildings, land) or expenditures to make improvements to capital assets that materially increase their value or useful life. Each project funded through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will be carried out over a one- to three-year timeframe.
If you believe you have a project eligible for funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, see this brochure or contact marketing specialist Felicia C. Frost at (575) 646-4929.
Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program (formerly known as the New Mexico Specialty Crops Program)
Funding through the Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program is made possible every year through the New Mexico Specialty Crops Act of 1983. (The program was once referred to as “the New Mexico Specialty Crops Program” but was later changed to avoid confusion with the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.)
That act was created “to facilitate the production and market development of high-value agricultural products”. That means agricultural companies may apply for the funds for the purpose of “marketing, production demonstration and promotional activities; market potential surveys; specialty crop production demonstrations; facilitation of the development of marketing facilities; participation in national and international trade shows; and administrative costs.”
Applications are due to NMDA May 1 of every year. They are reviewed by a panel of experts in the agricultural industry and in business. Successful applicants must conduct their grant-funded project entirely within the same fiscal year (July 1-June 30) for which funds were awarded.
If you believe you have a project eligible for funding consideration under the New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program, please see this brochure or contact marketing specialists Felicia C. Frost at (575) 646-4929.
Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP)
Funds will support research projects that help market, transport, and distribute American agricultural products domestically and internationally. Federal funds awarded must be matched by nonfederal funds or in-kind resources.“This program aims to help solve logistical problems that can keep agricultural products from getting to market,” said Craig Mapel, the marketing specialist who administers FSMIP for NMDA.Categories eligible for FSMIP funding include livestock, livestock products, food and feed crops, fish and shellfish, horticulture, viticulture, apiary, forest products, and processed or manufactured products derived from such commodities. Proposals may involve small-, medium , or large-scale agricultural entities; but proprietary proposals that benefit only one business or individual will not be considered.
New Mexico’s previously funded FSMIP projects include:
• Increase access to markets for New Mexico cattle and beef through research and dissemination
• Developing a value-added beef branding program in the state
• Enhancing regional marketing efforts for the state’s red and green chile
• Developing a handbook of institutions (schools, restaurants, etc.) in central New Mexico that are willing to buy local produce
• Assisting New Mexico farmers with selling fresh produce to schools and developing a nutrition education program
• Expanding agritourism opportunities for New Mexico farmers and ranchers
• Conducting a national marketing analysis of New Mexico natural dye plants and dye plant products
NMDA monitors the progress and serves as the fiscal agent on FSMIP projects. Application deadlines are contingent upon the availability and release of FSMIP funding. For more information on FSMIP, visit www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FSMIP. Potential applicants may contact Felicia C. Frost at (575) 646-4929.