Division of Agriculture Accepting Applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants through March 22
The grants will be available in two categories: smaller grants (up to $25,000) target entry-level or investigative projects and larger grants (up to $60,000) are aimed at more evidence-based research projects or those building on previous projects with strong industry support.
Grant applicants must provide a letter of intent to the division by 5 p.m. on March 22, 2021. Click here for the request for proposals, including application and deadline information.
The grant program seeks to enhance Alaska’s specialty crops’ competitiveness, sustain farmers’ livelihoods, and strengthen local communities. Only projects related to specialty crops are eligible. Potential recipients might include universities, extension services, soil and water conservation districts, or schools working with a business or nonprofit.
More information on the grants, including the dates and times of two informational sessions the division will host, is available here.
The US Department of Agriculture defines specialty crops as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture, and nursery crops. Many Alaska Grown products—including livestock, dairy, fuel/feed grains, and hay—are now classified as specialty crops.
While kelp and seaweed also meet the USDA specialty crop definition, federal restrictions exclude other aquaculture products from the grant program. A list of USDA-eligible specialty crops is available at the USDA website.
In This Issue
Meeting in the Middle
In January, when the Biden administration announced its ban on the future sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, the news understandably ruffled the collective feathers of Alaska’s oil and gas industry.