USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to North Dakota

WASHINGTON, August 23, 2023—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $3.3 million in Fiscal Year 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to North Dakota. With this grant, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture will fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop products and create new market opportunities for the state’s specialty crop producers.

“With this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding, North Dakota is investing in innovative projects that will help address the needs of specialty crop producers within the region,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The funded projects will also further USDA’s efforts to ensure U.S. specialty crop products remain competitive in markets across the nation and abroad.”

Through the SCBGP, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture will fund 21 projects. Among the department’s projects, is funding to the Northern Crops Institute to grow markets for crops in the northern plains by developing a stone milling process and baked goods using dry beans grown in the state. Additional funded projects focus in areas such as root rot mitigation, the development of ultra-high protein pea cultivars, increasing consumption of North Dakota grown potatoes through marketing, and evaluating new species of hydrangea.

“The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is an essential part of advancing innovation, research, education and market share for specialty crops,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “The program will fund 21 new projects in 2023 and is an important tool to help support and maintain our diverse agriculture industry.”

The funding to North Dakota is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2023 SCBGP funding awarded to 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2023 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning Sept. 30, 2023. Since 2006, USDA has invested over $1 billion through the SCBGP to fund nearly 12,000 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and enhanced marketing opportunities for U.S. specialty crops products.

More information about these awards is available on this webpage: 2023 SCBGP Awarded Grants (pdf).