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Funds available for specialty crop projects

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE -- The South Dakota Department of Agriculture announced federal funds are available for specialty crop projects.

"Organizations involved in the South Dakota specialty crop industry can now apply for select federal funding of projects that enhance the competitiveness of fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops and horticulture," said Alison Kiesz, SDDA ag development representative.

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The funds can be used for marketing, promotion, research, food safety, nutrition, distribution and best management practices to advance the specialty crop industry. Projects must be of benefit to more than one product or organization and must solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in South Dakota.

"Production of specialty crops in the state is on the rise," said Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. "These funds help us support this growing niche of South Dakota agriculture."

SDDA has established the following priority areas:

• Marketing and Promotion

• University Research

• Industry Education

• Local Foods Initiatives

 Applications may be submitted for projects outside of the priority areas. All applications are due to SDDA by April 4.

 These federal funds are part of the Specialty Crop Block Grant, a program funded through the farm bill.

 For program guidelines, application forms or other Specialty Crop Block Grant Program information, call 605.626.3272 or visit http://sdda.sd.gov/grants/specialty-crop-block-grant/.

-Source: South Dakota Department of Agriculture

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