Grant available for ‘specialty crop’

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
The Kansas Department of Commerce & Housing, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, is offering grants specifically designated to enhance the viability of the state’s specialty crop industry.

A one-time appropriation of $210,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been provided for the specialty crop industry. A specialty crop is defined for purposes of this grant as “any agriculture crop, except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts and tobacco.”

The focus of this grant program is to assist farmers in establishing or expanding farm infrastructure for specialty crop production and marketing.

Grants may be used for, but are not exclusive to, market promotion, marketing materials, increasing consumption of a specialty crop, identifying new marketing opportunities, specialized equipment, education, food safety issues, research, farmers markets, or addressing pest and disease problems.

“This grant program furthers our mission of increasing the viability of Kansas agricultural producers,” said Connie Fischer, director of the KDOC&H’s agriculture marketing division. “Kansas has a wide variety of specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts; and these grants will provide producers the opportunity to enhance their operations.”

Applications will be accepted from individual farmers, groups of farmers, cooperatives, non-profit groups, educational institutions, and agricultural businesses that are currently producing, expanding or establishing specialty crop operations.

Only one grant application per individual farming operation or specific project will be accepted. All applications must be postmarked by May 1, to be considered for grant funds. Grants are limited to a maximum of $25,000.

Specialty Crop Grant applications may be obtained from the Agriculture Marketing Division of the KDOC&H and are available at www. kansascommerce.com.

For more information, or to obtain an application, contact Megan Kilgore at 785-296-3737, or e-mail agprod@kansascommerce.com.

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