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2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant (CDBG)

Grants to New Jersey Agriculture Agencies
and Organizations to Support Local Agriculture

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New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA)

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Grants of up to $40,000 to New Jersey county boards of agriculture, grower marketing cooperatives, and organizations to support local agriculture. Funding is intended for initiatives that advance the marketability of eligible agricultural products across the State. Of special interest this year are projects that directly impact those affected by COVID-19 (producers and consumers). For the purpose of this grant program “specialty crops” are defined as vegetables, fruits including grapes for wine, nuts, horticultural products including Christmas trees, honey, herbs, potatoes, sweet corn, and other specialty crops including algae.

Grants may be used to support projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops including but not limited to research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, "buy local" programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental concerns and conservation, product development and developing cooperatives. 

Applicants must choose at least one of the following eight outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased sales (required for marketing projects).
  • Outcome 2: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased consumption.
  • Outcome 3: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased access.
  • Outcome 4: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through the greater capacity of sustainable practices of specialty crop production resulting in increased yield, reduced inputs, increased efficiency, increased economic return, and/or conservation of resources.
  • Outcome 5: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through more sustainable, diverse, and resilient specialty crop systems.
  • Outcome 6: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by increasing the number of viable technologies to improve food safety.
  • Outcome 7: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through increased understanding of the ecology of threats to food safety from microbial and chemical sources.
  • Outcome 8: Enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through enhancing or improving the economy as a result of specialty crop development.

A list of eligible specialty crops can be found on Page 27 of the Application Packet in Supporting Documents, below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188378

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Minimum - $10,000
- Maximum - $40,000

Depending on the total of funds requested the maximum grant size may be adjusted downward.

Term of Contract:

Projects may commence starting October 30, 2021, and project work must be completed by September 29, 2024.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Commodity promotion councils, grower marketing cooperatives, county boards of agriculture, and other agricultural organizations are being encouraged to provide producer input to assist the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) in the development of the FY2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant program in New Jersey.

Individual producers or solitary businesses are not eligible to apply. Applicants must be a legal entity representing a number of growers and have the legal capacity to contract. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide a cash match for their projects.

Agricultural commodities that are NOT eligible for these grant funds include, but are not limited to feed crops, food grains, seafood, livestock, dairy, and poultry products including eggs, range grasses, and oilseed crops. A complete list of ineligible commodities can be found on Page 27 of the Application Packet in Supporting Documents, below.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for 2021 project applications to the NJ Department of Agriculture is April 9, 2021.

Funds will be provided after October 1, 2021.

All applicants are now required to submit an organizational DUNS number with their application.

Estimated Timeline:
- April 9, 2021: Date that Specialty Crop Block Grant applications are due to the NJDA.
- To be Announced: The actual date the New Jersey Specialty Crop Block Grant application is due to the USDA.
- October 1, 2021: The grant awards should be announced.
- October 13, 2021: Grant contracts should be issued to the recipients by the NJDA.
- October 30, 2021: Projects may commence once the contract is signed by both parties.
- September 29, 2024: Project work must be completed

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Direct questions and submit applications to Deelip Mhaske, Grants Administrator, at

NJDA Marketing and Development Division

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey

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