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Oregon receives $1.5 million in specialty crop block grant funds

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and US Department of Agriculture have announced this year’s recipients of Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds. In Oregon, $1.5 million will fund 22 projects to help boost the competitiveness of the state’s fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops, and other specialty crops.

The amount of this year’s awards are slightly higher than last year’s $1.49 million.

“Our specialty crop growers have taken great advantage of these much needed federal funds in the past and we are excited to see the next wave of projects that will help us gain or maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace,” says ODA Director Katy Coba.

Oregon ranks fifth in the nation in production of specialty crops.

Over the past six years, Oregon has received more than $7 million in funding from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which has paved the way for 134 projects throughout the state. Nationally, USDA is awarding $52 million in grants to support specialty crop producers this year, funding 694 projects.

In its application process for this year, ODA identified seven areas as funding priorities:

  • Market development and access (international markets, local/regional/domestic markets, certifications)
  • Food safety compliance and traceability
  • Efficiency of distribution systems
  • Prevention and management of pests and diseases
  • Training and equipping the next generation
  • On-farm labor needs
  • Productivity enhancements and innovation

The 2013 funded projects involve a diversity of crops and span a wide geographic area of Oregon agricultural production.

For more information, contact Shannon Brubaker at (503) 872-6600.

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