2024 Maryland Specialty Crop Block Grant Application
The Maryland Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is a reimbursable grant program to enhance the competitiveness of Maryland’s specialty crops.
Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs and spices, honey, hops, grapes, maple syrup, Christmas trees, and nursery crops.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) administers the program with funding made available from the Farm Bill through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service.
Funding Availability: MDA anticipates approximately $400,000 will be available in SCBGP funds. Competitive grants will be awarded for projects with a minimum of $15,000. The Maryland SCBGP grants have ranged from $15,000 - $140,000. SCBGP grant funds will be awarded for projects up to 2 years in duration and must conclude by November 15, 2026.
Eligible Applicants: Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations involved in Maryland agriculture. Applicants must reside in Maryland or their business or educational affiliation must be in Maryland. Those applicants that are non-profit or for-profit, if awarded a grant, will be required to provide verification of their status. Applicants may cooperate with any public or private organization.
More than one project application per applicant may be submitted. Projects may be submitted by a single organization or combined entities. Multi-state projects to address a growing need for solutions to problems that cross state boundaries are also eligible. Contact the SCBGP Program Manager for additional application instructions.
Applicants must have the support of a specific specialty crop organization or group with at least three specialty crop producers. Letters of support need to be submitted. Proposals submitted by individual producers must demonstrate that the potential impact of the project will be for a broader group of similar producers or industry segment. Projects must also be identified as a priority of the industry.
You are encouraged to apply early. Applications submitted past the deadline will not be accepted.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture surveyed Maryland’s specialty crop industries to create funding priorities for the department’s Specialty Crop Block Grant. According to the survey, the current funding priorities include the following in order of importance:
- Increasing Consumption and Consumer Purchasing of Specialty Crops
- Improving Efficiency and Reducing Costs of Distribution Systems of Specialty Crops
- Improve Pest and Disease Control Processes
- Expand Specialty Crop Research and Development
- Improve Environmental Sustainability of Specialty Crops
- Increase Food Safety Knowledge and Processes
- Develop New Seed Varieties and Specialty Crops
Apply or Register
Complete the form
Review the steps - read carefully
Create a Maryland OneStop Account
If you do not have a Maryland OneStop account click "Register" in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Enter your first name, last name, email address, and create a password, then click "Register".
Verify Your Maryland OneStop Account Email
Once you have submitted your information to create an account you will receive an email from email@example.com. Click the "Verify Your Email" button in the email.
Click Apply Online
Click the button above to navigate to the online application. Complete all required fields.
Submit your grant application by Sunday, March 31, 2024
Log in using the email and password you created and click the “Apply Online” button. Fill out the application and click the “Submit” button to submit the grant application.
You will be notified through OneStop of the status of your grant application.
Resources and Links
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What Happens After Submission
All applications submitted by the deadline will be reviewed by the SCBGP program manager and SCBGP Review Committee. Applicants will be notified during the review process if adjustments are necessary. Recommendations from the Review Committee are made to the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture for approval for the Maryland State Plan.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) creates the Maryland State Plan and submits the Maryland State Plan to USDA for final review and approval. Once USDA approves the State Plan and the grant agreement between MDA and USDA is fully executed, MDA will notify grant applicants on the final status of their grant application.