Kansas ag department seeks applicants for 2011 specialty crop grants
TOPEKA -- The Kansas Department of Agriculture is seeking applicants who want a share of the $281,914 the state received for specialty crop projects in federal fiscal year 2011.
Potential grant applicants are encouraged to attend an informational meeting co-hosted by the Department of Agriculture and the agriculture marketing division of the Kansas Department of Commerce at 2 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, to learn about the grant and the application process.
The meeting will be in the fourth floor meeting room of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, 109 SW 9th Street, Topeka.
Kansas was awarded the grant as a result of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004, which was passed by Congress and authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help states enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.
Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops, including floriculture. Grants will be awarded for projects that enhance the competitiveness of these specialty crops, whether it’s through research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, food safety and security, plant health, education, buy-local programs, addressing environmental concerns, or developing cooperatives.
Grant applications are due by 5 p.m., Thursday, July 1, 2010, and need to be made to Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty, Kansas Department of Agriculture, 109 SW 9th St., Topeka, KS 66612. Grant awards will be announced by the end of July.
The grants are open to commissions, public entities, and associations and/or nonprofit organizations that represent Kansas’ specialty agriculture and food producers. Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have a cash match for their projects.
Applications will be reviewed by staff from the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Department of Commerce, as well as by an advisory committee established specifically for the project. Svaty will make the final awards based on his own review of the applications and the feedback he receives from other reviewers.
More information about the specialty crop block grant program and the grant application are available on the department's Specialty Crop Block Grant web page.