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ODA now accepting concept proposals for next round of specialty crop project funding

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ODA's call for concept proposals for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

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  • FUNd Raising
  • Fun!
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When Jan 13, 2012 09:20 AM to
Feb 27, 2012 12:00 PM
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Contact Phone (503) 872-6600
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January 13, 2012... The Oregon Department of Agriculture is now accepting concept proposals for project ideas as part of US Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Approximately $1 million is expected to be available to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, non-profits, for profits, and local government agencies in Oregon. ODA is requesting two-to-three page concept proposals from applicants describing their proposed projects.

Concept proposals can be submitted online and must be received by Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:00 noon Pacific Standard Time.

Specialty crops are defined as commonly recognized fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. Oregon ranks fifth in the nation in production of specialty crops.

This month, ODA will host two webinars for applicants that provide an in-depth look at the program and explain the grant writing process step-by-step. Those interested can participate in either one-hour webinar– Friday, January 20 at 10:00 a.m. or Friday, January 27 at 10:00 a.m. Registration is available at <oregon.gov/ODA/grants_spec_crops.shtml>.

ODA will continue to fund projects in the following areas as priorities for 2012 (not listed in order of preference):

·      Market development and access, both international and farm-direct/local

·      Product and varietal development

·      Value-added initiatives

·      Innovation and productivity

·      Consumer education

·      Food safety and traceability

·      Certification and producer outreach, including, but not limited to, GAP/GHP, identity preserved, organic, sustainability, or other market assurance programs

Oregon’s Specialty Crop Grant program has a two-phase competitive process. In April, an industry advisory board will evaluate concept proposals and make recommendations to ODA’s Director on the selection of the top ranked applicants. Selected applicants will then be asked to submit full grant proposals for a second round of evaluation. Projects chosen to receive funding will be announced by October or November of 2012.

ODA and the advisory board are looking for innovative proposals, and encourage interested parties to work regionally to submit collaborative project proposals that benefit Oregon growers and processors as well as partners in other states that share common specialty crops. Those who have received specialty crop grant funds in the past are also encouraged to apply, whether they are interested in building on an existing project or if they  are proposing a new project. Projects that benefit new producers or socially-disadvantaged farmers are also strongly encouraged.

Concept proposals may be submitted for a project within the suggested funding range of $25,000 to $100,000, and for a project timeline of up to two years. Applicants are highly encouraged to provide a dollar-for-dollar match.

ODA staff is available to provide applicants an understanding of the 2012 granting process and requirements. Directions on submitting concept papers and other information is available at <oregon.gov/ODA/grants_spec_crops.shtml> or by contacting Katie Pearmine at ODA’s Agricultural Development and Marketing Division at (503) 872-6600.

 

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Media contact:  Katie Pearmine at (503) 872-6600.

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