DANR Invites Projects that Enhance Specialty Crops in South Dakota

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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Media Contact: Dana Munyon, dana.munyon@state.sd.us


DANR Invites Projects that Enhance Specialty Crops in South Dakota


PIERRE, S.D. –The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) is pleased to announce funds are available to enhance the competitiveness of South Dakota specialty crops through the 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.


The application deadline is March 24, 2024. South Dakota’s state, local, or tribal governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, research institutions, institutions of higher education, for-profit businesses, and individual producers may apply.


“South Dakota agriculture continues to innovate and drive progress for our state, and our specialty crop industry is no exception,” said DANR Secretary Hunter Roberts. “We look forward to seeing new projects support the sustainable production and safe consumption of our specialty crops.”


An informational Q&A session will be held for grant applicants on Wednesday, February 21 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. CT. Please contact Timothy Schoonhoven at timothy.schoonhoven@state.sd.us or 605-773-6690 for attendance information.


Grant funds may invest in specialty crop production and market access, consumption and purchasing, environmental sustainability and pest and disease control, expand specialty crop research and development, bolster food safety knowledge and processes, and contribute to new seed variety development.


Specialty crops are generally defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). A full list of eligible specialty crops is available on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website.

DANR receives funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and conducts a competitive review process with an independent panel of experts from the South Dakota agriculture community to award Specialty Crop Block Grant projects. Projects may receive funding for up to three years, beginning September 30, 2024, and extending up to September 29, 2027.


The deadline for applications is March 24, 2024, at 11:59 pm CDT.


Applications should be submitted via email to timothy.schoonhoven@state.sd.us. The FY24 Request for Proposals and application materials are available at https://danr.sd.gov/Conservation/SpecialtyCropBlockGrant/default.aspx.


For additional information, please contact Timothy Schoonhoven, Policy Advisor, at 605-773-6690.

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