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

2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) - Farm Bill

GrantWatch ID# 181028
Agency: State

Funding Source
Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA)
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Geographic Focus
USA: Delaware

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/24/23 4:30 PM Receipt Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $75,000 to Delaware government agencies, nonprofit organizations, IHEs, producer organizations, and individual producers for projects to improve the specialty crop industry. Focus areas include research, food safety, nutrition education, disease and pest control, and food access for veterans and underserved communities.

The USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). 

The Delaware Department of Agriculture is looking for grant projects that solely increase the competitiveness of Delaware grown specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of Delaware farmers and strengthen Delaware’s economy in regard 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.

For examples of eligible projects, see the following link:


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-Application Information
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 Friday, March 24, 2023. Applications must be received by the grant deadline date and time. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

- February 1, 2023: Release of Request for Proposals
- Contact Ese Jessa for details: Grant workshop held in-person
- March 24, 2023 no later than 4:30pm: Grant proposals due to DDA
- April 14, 2023: Evaluation Team to select proposals to be included in Delaware’s State Plan
- May 1, 2023: State Plan submitted to AMS/USDA
- September 30, 2023: Anticipated AMS/USDA approval
- October 15, 2023: Grant agreements completed
- November 1, 2023: Anticipated Project start date (subject to change)
- September 30, 2026: All projects conclude

All grantees are required to have a DUNS number (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.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Competitive grants will be awarded for projects between $5,000 and $75,000.

Term of Contract
Projects must be completed by September 30, 2026.

Contact Information
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

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