The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as "fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture)."
The SCBGP was authorized on December 21, 2004, by Section 101 of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004. The Act authorized the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide grants to states to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. In 2008, Section 10109 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill) amended the Act, which established the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program - Farm Bill (SCBGP-FB).
2018 SD SCBG Recipients Include:
South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) facilities plan to coordinate farmers markets statewide while utilizing farmers market promotion resources and working to build a South Dakota Specialty Crop/Local Foods brand through a collaborative effort with the SD Local Foods Coalition.
- The Edmunds Central School District presents a proposal that would build upon its current project that aims to dramatically impact the exposure to and consumption of specialty crops by developing mobile classroom growing systems geared toward educating and providing opportunities to consume specialty crops not consumed by PreK-6 students in South Dakota due to limitations associated with the per student allocation for general education and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and obtaining such crops beyond their growing season in three phases. Phase one involved research and development implemented by the Edmunds Central science department perfecting protocols and curriculum associated with growing specialty crops in classrooms for education and consumption purposes during the 2017-18 school year. Phase two has successfully recruited 50 teachers to implement the same mobile growing systems in their classrooms. Phase three will coordinate their usage during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. Throughout all three phases, extensive efforts have thus far been made to recruit and retain educators into the project and promulgate the concept of growing specialty crops in classrooms for educational and nutritional purposes through presentations, workshops, and published work. This application seeks to build upon these successes by expanding curriculum support to middle school and high school grades through the development of in-depth specialty crop curriculum support for higher level learning and expanding material and supplies support to an additional 17 teachers for the specialty crops cohort.
- Rebel Earth Farm is a cooperative of local, tribal, disabled, or specialty crop farmers. The purpose of Rebel Earth Farms - Incubator hub (REF-IH) is to provide landless, limited resource people with free access to land and resources, with the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops through more sustainable, diverse and resilient specialty crop systems (high tunnels) increased access and greater capacity of sustainable practices of specialty crop production. By training these new, socially-disadvantaged specialty crop producers to work together on the incubator, REF-IH is working to improve efficiency in the specialty crop distribution system and to reduce the costs, incurred by these new producers, of producing and distributing food to a food insecure populace. Rebel Earth Farms and its incubator specialty crop farmers will increase the utilization of specialty crops by local businesses by consolidating marketing efforts that focus on increasing sales by these new producers to area schools.
- South Dakota State University will facilitate ongoing learning partnerships between specialty crop producers and undergraduate or graduate students on campus. In this pilot project, students will be paired with individual growers and learn about crops, management, best practices, and challenges.
- Dakota Hops LLC, has developed three new methods for preserving hops for the brewing industry, that include mechanical (conventional) freezing of hops at 0 degrees Fahrenheit: cryogenic freezing of hops at minus 120 degrees Fahrenheit: and freeze drying. This grant will continue testing hops to determine whether they improve the flavor and aroma of beer.
- Southern Hills Economic Development Corporation (hereafter referred to as SHEDCO) will partner with SDSU and Sweet and Sassy, to develop a heating system prototype using hydrothermal energy for year-round production. The project will provide educational outreach to area ranchers, farmers, ag related youth groups, high school and university level students about what value-added agricultural products are viable using hydrothermally generated heat. The project will increase access and consumption through availability in an area designated as a food desert. The application of a regionally viable technology-hydrothermal energy- to heat greenhouse structures will significantly decrease the overhead cost of production. A consistent heat source will create sustainable production throughout the year, and off-set weather and other natural impediments to year-round production. Decreasing the distance from producer to consumer will significantly decrease the carbon footprint cost as well has threats from microbial and chemical sources. Most importantly, the project can be replicated throughout Fall River County allowing for the development of a new value-added agriculture-based economy.
- Increasing the consumption of locally-grown specialty crops in southeastern South Dakota. This proposal will raise the comfort level of chefs and consumers in purchasing, storing, and preparing local specialty crops, ultimately leading to people in southeast South Dakota eating more high quality vegetables, fruits, and unique greens. As the consumption of locally fresh food increases, the demand will allow new farmers to enter the marketplace producing specialty crops that are profitable and build local economies.
- The South Dakota State Fair Wine Pavilion brings tremendous added value to the State Fair experience, as well as allows for South Dakota wineries, breweries, and distilleries, to showcase their products and where consumers can taste and sample South Dakota wines, beers, and spirits. Goals include: Increase the number of consumers who are exposed to and sample South Dakota wine, beer, and spirits. Increase the exposure and name recognition for South Dakota wineries, breweries, and distilleries, thereby increasing their sales. Expand the scope of the pavilion to include more specialty producers such as micro-breweries and distilleries.
- Request for applications press release
- Application package checklist
- FY19 SCBGP Guidance document
- 2018 Performance measures
- Application cover sheet
- FY19 Proposal application-Due May 1st, 2019
- Form W-9 — Required with all state grant applications
- SCBG 2019 Terms and Conditions