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2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) - Farm Bill

Grants to Delaware Agencies, Nonprofits, IHEs, and
Businesses to Improve the Local Specialty Crop Industry

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/20/21 4:30 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $50,000 to Delaware government agencies, nonprofit organizations, IHEs, producer organizations, and individual producers for projects that improve the specialty crop industry. Focus areas include research, food safety, nutrition education, disease and pest control, and food access to veterans and to underserved communities.

The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Through funding provided for under the Farm Bill and managed by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of Delaware’s specialty crop industry.

Projects should benefit the specialty crop industry as a whole and be able to provide a positive impact with measurable outcomes. The Delaware Department of Agriculture looks for grant projects that solely increase the competitiveness of Delaware grown specialty crops in regards to the following priorities specified by the USDA:

  • Enhancing food safety;
  • Food safety compliance to address specialty crop buyer requirements for mitigating food safety risks.
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Increasing opportunities for new and beginning farmers;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
  • Protecting and improving pollinator health;
  • Developing local and regional food systems; and
  • Improving food access in underserved communities and among veterans.
  • Increasing urban agriculture and other emerging agricultural practices by bringing food production into busy, populated areas – such as vertical gardens, shipping container farms, rooftop farming, hydroponics, community gardens, community composting, and food waste reduction.

Please visit for a comprehensive list of eligible specialty crops and ineligible commodities under the SCBGP.

Examples of Acceptable Projects

  • A State requests funding to contract with a university to conduct research on the feasibility of planting, cultivating, and growing a specialty crop in a particular area, the results of which will be shared with many growers throughout the state during the project.
  • A single grower requests funds to demonstrate the viability of organic small fruit production and partners with Cooperative Extension to publicize the working model of diversification to other regional growers.
  • A single company requests funds to provide a viable pollination alternative to specialty crop stakeholders in a region that currently does not have one.
  • A non-profit organization requests funds to conduct an advertising campaign that will benefit their specialty crop members.
  • A single farmer erects high tunnels on his/her property to extend the growing season of tomatoes and lettuce and conducts a field day and farm tour to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the production methods. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181028

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Competitive grants will be awarded for projects between $5,000 and $50,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed by July 31, 2024. No extensions will be permitted.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This invitation for proposals has been developed to provide all interested parties an opportunity to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds. Individual producers, producer groups, organizations, associations, and state and local organizations, academia, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply either as single entities or in combined efforts. Proposals submitted by individual producers must demonstrate that the project’s potential impact will accrue to a broader group of similar producers, regions, or industry segments.

Applicants may submit more than one proposal. If more than one proposal is submitted, please prioritize the submissions.

According to USDA guidelines, grant funds cannot be awarded for projects that solely benefit a commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual because these projects do not enhance the specialty crop industry’s competitiveness. Projects are required to impact and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution or individual.

To be eligible to participate, applicants must reside, or their business or educational affiliation must be in Delaware. Those applicants that are non-profit or for-profit, if awarded a grant, will be required to provide verification of their status.

Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract with the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Applications for grant funds should describe how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public rather than a single organization, institution, or individual. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely benefit a commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

For projects that are ineligible for funding, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant workshop will be held virtually/online on March 30, 2021, at 10:00 AM.

Pre-Application Information:

The Delaware Department of Agriculture must receive applications no later than 4:30 PM on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

- March 18, 2021: Release of Request for Proposals
- March 30, 2021, at 10:00 AM: Grant workshop held at DDA
- April 20, 2021 no later than 4:30 PM: Grant proposals due to DDA
- May 2021: Evaluation Team to select proposals to be included in Delaware’s State Plan
- May 2021: State Plan submitted to AMS/USDA
- September 30, 2021: Anticipated AMS/USDA approval
- October 15, 2021: Grant agreements completed
- November 15, 2021: Anticipated Project start date
- July 31, 2024: All projects conclude

The Delaware Department of Agriculture must receive the eight paper copies and an electronic copy of the completed application packets no later than 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. This is not a postmark deadline; application packets must be received by the grant deadline date and time. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

Matching funds are not required; however, the Department considers the levels and sources of matching funds to be key criteria for evaluating proposals. The Department wants to make the best use of available resources. Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate the applicant’s commitment to the project in terms of cash contribution and maximize the leveraging of funds

All grantees are required to have a DUNS numbers (Data Universal Numbering System). DUNS Number assignment is free for all business required registering with the US Federal Government for contracts or grants. This number may be obtained online at or over the phone at 866-705-5711.

All Applicants must also register with the Federal System for Award Management ( and provide updates as needed.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For more information or to apply for this grant, please contact Ese Jessa at the Delaware Department of Agriculture at (302) 698-4592 or by email at

Mail proposal to:
Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 South DuPont Highway
Dover, DE 19901

Email the electronic version of the proposal to:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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