The Ohio Department of Agriculture received $703,287.81 through a USDA specialty crop block grant. The USDA program is investing in 55 specialty crop block grants that will fund 740 initiatives across the United States and its territories. The grants will help strengthen the market for specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.
“Agriculture plays a vital role in the health and strength of our economy, and by investing in specialty crop growers and producers across the country, we can help spark new markets and job creation, while expanding production of healthy, safe and affordable food,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for fiscal year 2011 supports initiatives that:
• Increase nutritional knowledge and specialty crop consumption
• Improve efficiency within the distribution system and reduce costs
• Promote the development of good agricultural, handling and manufacturing practices while encouraging audit fund cost-sharing for small farmers, packers and processors
• Support research through standard and green initiatives
• Enhance food safety
• Develop new/improved seed varieties and specialty crops
• Control pests and diseases
• Create organic and sustainable production practices
• Establish local and regional fresh food systems and
• Expand food access in underserved/food desert communities.… Continue readingRead More »