KDA Awarded $340K in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding
Award Is Part of $102.7 Million Investment to Expand Markets for Specialty Crop and Other Farmers
WASHINGTON (Sept. 18, 2018) — The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has been awarded $340,770.96 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant Program as part of a $102.7 million investment to increase opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other growers across the country through five grant programs, USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach announced recently.
The funding supports a variety of locally-led projects intended to expand markets for local food promotion and specialty crops. The KDA funding will be administered by the department’s marketing office.
Other awards to Kentucky recipients include:
• $150,608.90 from the Farmers Market Promotion Program to the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky Inc. in Hazard for the Northfork Local Food Promotion Programto increase access to locally grown and produced foods within communities along and around the North Fork of the Kentucky River.
• $481,331 from the Farmers Market Promotion Program to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green for the FRESH (Farm Regionally/Locally and Engage Supportive Households) App to expand direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities for locally grown fresh produce.
• $86,669 from the Local Food Promotion Program to Community Farm Alliance in Berea to continue development of an existing 80,000-square-foot former industrial site for a food and agribusiness incubator and other community opportunities to scale up the local food system in the six-county "foodshed" surrounding Berea.
• $199,732 from the Local Food Promotion Program to the SoKY Marketplace/Gateway Farmers Market Inc. of Bowling Green to improve and expand a community kitchen and culinary incubator.
The federal resources are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and include:
•$72.15 million to state departments of agriculture in 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. States use the SCBGP to fund research, agricultural extension activities and programs to increase demand for agricultural goods of value to farmers in the state or territory.
•$13.35 million 49 projects supporting direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). A 2015 FMPP grant enabled the farmers market in Burkesville, Ky., located in Cumberland County with a total county population of 7,000, to expand the number of vendors at its market from 8 registered vendors in 2015 to a roster of 38 vendors in 2017.
•$13.45 million to 44 projects to support the development and expansion of local and regional food businesses to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets through the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).
•$2.67 million to six projects through the Acer Access and Development Program (Acer) to support the efforts of states, tribal governments and research institutions to increase market opportunities for the domestic maple syrup industry.
•$1.1 million for nine projects through the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.
More information is available at ams.usda.gov.