Proposal Deadline: May 1, 2014 - 4:00 p.m.The Illinois Department of Agriculture received specialty crop block grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the Specialty Crop Block Grant - Farm Bill. A portion of those grant funds will be used to fund the Illinois Specialty Crop Grant Program. Through this program all Illinois specialty crop projects can apply for grant funds to help increase the competitiveness of the Illinois specialty crop industry.
Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of American farmers, and strengthen rural economies by:
- Increasing nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption among children and adults,
- Improving efficiency within the distribution system,
- Promoting the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices while encouraging audit cost-sharing for small farmers, packers, and processors,
- Supporting research through standard and green initiatives,
- Enhancing food safety,
- Developing new/improved seed varieties and specialty crops,
- Controlling pests and diseases,
- Creating organic and sustainable production practices,
- Establishing local and regional fresh food systems,
- Expanding access to specialty crops in underserved communities,
- Developing school and community gardens and farm-to-school programs,
- Enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crop farmers, including Native American and disadvantaged farmers.
Program Contact Information
Illinois Department of Agriculture
State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon Ave.
Springfield, IL 62794-9281
Telephone: 217-524-9129 - Fax: 217-785-4505
E-mail: Delayne Reeves at firstname.lastname@example.org