SC Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications Being Accepted

Applications for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) are live. Here to tell us more about the applications and requirements is SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers.

  • The SCBGP is an important resource for strengthening the specialty crop industry.
  • I encourage specialty crop farmers, researchers and other industry supporters to propose projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of farmers, and strengthen local economies.
  • Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture (including honey), and nursery crops (including floriculture).
  • Applicants should propose projects that provide one or more of the following benefits:
    • Enhanced food safety
    • Improved capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act
    • Investment in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes
    • Development of new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops
    • Enhanced pest and disease control
    • Increased child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops
    • Increased efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems
    • Enhanced sustainability
  • The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Applications and more information can be found at
  • Applications are due by March 27th, 2020, and must be submitted by email to Betsy Dorton at