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NEWS

LDAF now accepting SCBGP applications

April 17, 2017

Baton Rouge, La. (April 14, 2017) – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) is now accepting applications for the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP), Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., announced today.

Applications must be received no later than close of business (4:30 p.m.) May 15, 2017.

The LDAF will administer the grant program funded through the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS). The LDAF anticipates at least $346,822.26 to be allocated to fund Louisiana projects.

The grants are to be used for projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Louisiana-grown specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, Christmas trees, turf grass/sod, nursery and greenhouse crops.

Producer associations, state and/or local organizations, state or local governments, qualified educational institutions, non-profits and other specialty crop stakeholders are eligible sub-recipients. All applicants are required to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and include that number on their application.

Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. Projects should focus on issues to help improve specialty crop industries as a whole such as: distribution, production, research, market development, food safety, promotion, education, as well as others listed in the Request for Applications (RFA).

Grants can be awarded for projects lasting up to two years and 10 months. Once the deadline has passed, all applications submitted to the LDAF will be carefully evaluated to determine if the projects are qualified based on the criteria listed in the guidelines. All submitted project applications deemed qualified will be reviewed and scored by a panel consisting of industry stakeholders, and the panel will make funding recommendations to LDAF. All LDAF approved projects will be incorporated into one state plan grant request, which will be submitted to the USDA.

The LDAF has prepared a RFA document detailing application instructions, scoring criteria, federal forms, project format examples and other helpful information from the USDA. The document may be found at www.LDAF.la.gov. Click on the 2017 Specialty Crop alert.

A complete list of eligible specialty crops may be found at  http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgpdefinitions.

For more information, contact Wanda Ward, procurement-contracts/grants supervisor wanda_w@ldaf.state.la.us.