Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Utah Refugees Thankful for Agriculture Grant Program – 2017 Application Deadline Nears


May 5 Deadline Approaching
UDAF Seeks Proposals for Specialty Crop Grants
Up to $275,000 Available

(Salt Lake City) 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 for a portion of the $275,000 available are due by May 5, 2017.  Email completed applications to Andy Pierucci (801-538-4913) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To access the application visit: http://bit.ly/2mcnaTZ

     The federally funded Specialty Crop Block Grant program 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. For a complete list : https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop

Previous grantee cites block grant as major contributor to success

     Members of Utah’s refugee populations who have gardening or farming backgrounds are getting a chance to put those skills to use and help provide for their families, thanks to the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City (IRC SLC) and the Specialty Crops grant.

     “The New Roots Farm is an agricultural program that focuses on immigrants and refugees,” said Grace Henley, Food Entrepreneurship Program Manager, IRC SLC. Approximately 25 families farm a plot of land IRC leases from Salt Lake County near 3900 South and 1700 West. The IRC recently received a third grant from the Specialty Crop fund to continue the work started in fiscal year 2015.    

    With support from the Specialty Crop Block Grant to research production and marketing strategies, IRC SLC launched a successful Farm to School pilot with refugee farmers in the New Roots program and during the 2016 season New Roots farmers saw an increase of over 40% in sales and revenue.

     IRC SLC was also able to provide ongoing food safety and quality control training and technical assistance to farmers to ensure they meet the rigorous food safety standards of Utah’s school districts. The impact on the New Roots farmers’ success was enormous, and New Roots looks forward to continuing this work in 2017 to further contribute to development of a thriving specialty crop market in Utah and to share lessons learned with other Utah producers.  

     Individual producers, producer groups, organizations, and associations, as well as state and local organizations, academia and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply. Each project must demonstrate measurable benefits for the specialty crop industry and must assist more than just a single producer, organization or company.    


Contact: Larry Lewis (801 538-7104
Andy Pierucci (801) 538-4913
Grace Henley I RC 1(815) 621-3758





posted: April 3, 2017