PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announces that funds are available for Specialty Crop Block Grants.

The funds can be used for marketing, promotion, research, food safety, nutrition, distribution and best management practices to advance the specialty crop industry. Specialty crops are generally defined as fruits, nuts, vegetables, honey and some turf and ornamental crops. A full list of specialty crops is also available on the SDDA website at http://sdda.sd.gov/.

“These grants give farmers a way to increase the demand for the specialty crops they’re already growing,” said SDDA grant and loan specialist, Kimberly Sturm. “This year’s projects are maximizing the value of specialty crops and contributing to South Dakota’s greater agricultural economy.”

Stakeholders have identified this year’s top priorities as enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased sales, increased consumption and sustainable practices of specialty crop production. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2019. Details explaining the application are available at https://sdda.sd.gov/grants/specialty- crop-block-grant/.

“This program encourages production of local food within South Dakota because it offers additional resources to those interested in enhancing the specialty crop industry” said Sturm.

Applications should be submitted via email to kimberly.sturm@state.sd.us, in Word format only. Applications are due May 1, 2019.

For additional information please contact Sturm at 605.773.4516 or visit her at SDDA’s Office at 523 E Capitol Ave Pierre, SD 57501.

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