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USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to Louisiana

August 25, 2022

For Immediate Release:              
August 25, 2022

Contact:
Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256
Megan Moore, Public Information Director – 225-935-2179
presssecretary@LDAF.la.gov

USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to Louisiana

BATON ROUGE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $394,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Louisiana. This USDA grant will help the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.

“USDA applauds Louisiana’s continued commitment to supporting our nation’s producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded will foster innovative research and new market opportunities within the specialty crop sector, while furthering USDA’s goals of creating a more fair and equitable food system and supporting local and regional producers.”

“Louisiana has one of the most unique and distinctive food cultures in the country, and our specialty crops play an important role in our agricultural landscape. The Specialty Crop Block Grant funds are a great tool to boost the competitiveness of Louisiana specialty crops through marketing and promotion, research and development, expanding availability and access, and addressing challenges confronting our producers,” remarked the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “Through this project, we aim to develop economic opportunities for our specialty crops while improving food access through the state. Projects promoting food safety, extending produce shelf life, marketing specialty crops, and creating apprenticeships are in the works. These projects will lead to overall success for Louisiana specialty crop farmers, now and in the future.”

The funding to Louisiana is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2022 SCBGP funding awarded to 55 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 FY2022 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning September 30, 2022. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $953 million through the SCBGP to fund 11,331 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and broadened the market for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.

More information about these awards is available on this webpage: 2022 SCBGP Awarded Grants (pdf).

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