- Category: News
- Published: Thursday, 27 March 2014 13:27
- Written by Jack Wilbur
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UDAF Seeks Proposals for Specialty Crop Grants
$312,000 in Funds Available
Updated - April 18, 2014
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is seeking grant proposals for projects designed to increase production and availability of fruits and vegetables, and other specialty crops in Utah. Grant proposals are due to the UDAF by June 6, 2014. This year $313,000 is available for the program.
The federally funded Specialty Crop Block Grant program, administered in Utah by UDAF, is designed to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop producers in areas such as marketing, promotion, education, research, trade, and increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops. Specialty Crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).
“The movement we’re seeing across the country and here in Utah is that more people are looking to purchase food produced closer to home,” said Craig Buttars, specialty crop grant administrator, UDAF. “This program helps producers find ways to increase the options and availability of specialty crops in Utah.”
A recent survey by the UDAF of 400 Northern Utah residents indicated that when making grocery shopping decisions, freshness and nutritional value are the two most important factors. Greater availability of locally produced specialty crops is closely tied to both of those factors (More information about the survey of agriculture is available on the UDAF website: http://ag.utah.gov/home/news/431-survey-results-utah-agriculture.html).
In 2013, 15 specialty crop grant projects were awarded, for a total of $280,000. This year, $312,000 is available for the State of Utah. Proposals & projects that assist new specialty crop producers or socially disadvantaged farmers are also encouraged.
Individual producers, producer groups, organizations, and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Each project must demonstrate measurable benefits for the specialty crop industry and must assist more than just a single producer or company.
Application information and forms are available from the UDAF website:
http://ag.utah.gov/documents/SpecialtyCropOverview2014.pdf, or by calling Craig Buttars at (801) 538-4931
(801) 538-4931, or (435) 760-8147(435) 760-8147.
Grant proposals are due to the UDAF by June 6, 2014.