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Funds Available for Specialty Crop Advancement


For Immediate Release:  March 14, 2017
Media Contact:  Jody Heemstra, 605-773-4073

***This release contains links to audio***

Funds Available for Specialty Crop Advancement

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 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 DeSchepper. “This year’s projects are maximizing the value of specialty crops and contributing to South Dakota’s greater agricultural economy.” (***Download DeSchepper1 audio here***)

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. 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 DeSchepper. (***Download DeSchepper2 audio here***)

Applications should be submitted via email to kimberly.deschepper@state.sd.us and four printed copies including an original must be mailed to SDDA at 523 E Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501. Applications are due May 1, 2017.

For additional information please contact Kimberly DeSchepper, grant and loan specialist, at 605-773-4516 or visit her at SDDA’s Ag Development Office at 523 E Capitol Ave Pierre, SD 57501.

Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect and preserve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit SDDA online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SD Ag Chat podcasts can be found in the Ag News section at http://sdda.sd.gov/news. You may subscribe, free of charge, through Google Play Music, iTunes or from https://sdagchat.podbean.com/.