USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to Nebraska
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $823,000 in Fiscal Year 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Nebraska. With this grant, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture will fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop products and create new market opportunities for the state’s specialty crop producers.
“With this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding, Nebraska is investing in innovative projects that will help address the needs of specialty crop producers within the region,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The funded projects will also further USDA’s efforts to ensure U.S. specialty crop products remain competitive in markets across the nation and abroad.”
Through the SCBGP, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture will fund 13 projects. Among the department’s projects, is funding for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to partner with local farmers markets and specialty crops producers to host Local Food Showcases across the state to increase the knowledge and consumption of specialty crops. Additional funded projects focus in areas such as research on mitigating adverse effects of diseases in dry beans, evaluating the effectiveness of different varieties of tomatoes, and the development of new irrigation technology.
The funding to Nebraska is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2023 SCBGP funding awarded to 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.
The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2023 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning Sept. 30, 2023. Since 2006, USDA has invested over $1 billion through the SCBGP to fund nearly 12,000 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and enhanced marketing opportunities for U.S. specialty crops products.
More information about these awards is available at 2023 SCBGP Awarded Grants.