Specialty Crop Block Grant

Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made available grants to state departments of agriculture solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The current funding for the program was established in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill,) which authorized the USDA to provide grants to states for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. This program was renewed in the 2014 Farm Bill.

Each state that submits an application that is reviewed and approved by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is to receive at least an amount that is equal to the higher of $100,000, or 1/3 of 1 percent of the total amount of funding made available for that fiscal year. In addition, AMS will allocate the remainder of the grant funds based on the value of specialty crop production in each state in relation to the national value of specialty crop production using the latest available cash receipt data.

Kansas will receive $319,419.76 for federal fiscal year 2015. In federal fiscal year 2008, Kansas received $102,197.15. As the specialty crop industry in Kansas has grown, and USDA has placed a stronger emphasis on the industry, grant awards to Kansas have increased accordingly.  In federal fiscal year 2013, Kansas received $239,566.58 and $314,370.38 for federal fiscal year 2014.

Applications for grant funds should show 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 particular 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.

Applicants must be a legal entity and have the legal capacity to contract.

Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops, including floriculture.  Projects are required to “enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops,” per the USDA’s guidelines. Projects of particular interest to the Kansas Department of Agriculture are those that explore economic development and education, as related to the Kansas specialty crop industry.  For more information about the specialty crop block grant program, including a current list of eligible crops, visit USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.  

For additional information on this program, contact Kellen L. Liebsch.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Application Packet and Information

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Funds for the program are awarded to the agency by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The funds are in turn granted to projects and organizations that promote the competitiveness of specialty crops.

2016 Request for Application

2016 Application Cover Sheet

2016 Application Template

Specialty Crop Block Grant Performance Measures



Specialty Crop Block Grant Recipients

  • 2013 Recipients

  • 2012 Recipients

  • 2010 Recipients

  • 2009 Recipients

  • 2008 Recipients

  • 2007 Recipients