CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is now seeking applications for FY 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Funds will be awarded to enhance the production, processing, and consumption of specialty crops in West Virginia. Five West Virginia projects were awarded a total of $292,293.44 in 2022.
“Specialty crops are vital to expanding, diversifying, and enhancing the impact agriculture has on our state’s economy. The Department is looking for projects that highlight how innovative programs and rural development groups can help West Virginia agriculture expand,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “Our goal is to close the production and consumption gap in West Virginia. In order to have more resilient food systems, we must take a diversified approach.”
The state Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the WVDA. Recipients have two years to plan, implement and gather data on their respective projects. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.
The USDA awarded $72.4 million to 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories in 2022. The WVDA anticipates receiving approximately $270,000, from which multiple grants will be awarded.
Application, instructions and other information can be found at https://agriculture.wv.gov/ag-business/specialty-crop-block-grant/. Applications are due January 20, 2023. For more information, contact Angel Wallace, firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-558-2210.