November 4, 2008
Kansas Department of Agriculture
(785) 296-2653 phone
Ag department seeks applicants for specialty crop grantsTOPEKA -- The Kansas Department of Agriculture is seeking applicants who want a share of the $104,504 the state received for specialty crop projects in federal fiscal year 2009.
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 Dec. 5, 2008, and need to be made to Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky, Kansas Department of Agriculture, 109 SW 9th St., Topeka, KS 66612. Grant awards will be announced in February 2009.
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. Polansky will make the final awards based on his own review of the applications and the feedback he receives from other reviewers.
Information about the specialty crop block grant program and the grant application are available online at: www.ksda.gov/kansas_agriculture/content/281.