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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #10-002
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An estimated $17 million in grant funding to be awarded

SACRAMENTO, January 11, 2010 – Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 California Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. An estimated $17 million in competitive grant funding will be awarded to support of variety of projects aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the California specialty crop industry.

“California’s specialty crop production leads the nation,” said Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “By providing federal funding to California growers and farm associations we are creating a more dynamic and innovative food system that will benefit all consumers.”

The competitive solicitation process begins with submission of concept proposals by eligible non-profit organizations; local, state and federal government entities; for profit organizations; and universities.  Applicants with the most competitive proposals will be invited to participate in the second phase of the solicitation process by submitting a more formal application.  The deadline for applications is Monday, February 1, 2010.

Applicants must access the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) at for detailed solicitation and application instructions.  To streamline and expedite the application process, the department is partnering with the California State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts an online application site using the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST).  All applicants must register for a FAAST account at

The California Department of Food and Agriculture will award federal funds, on a competitive basis, to projects ranging from $75,000 to $500,000.  The 2010 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (farm bill). The purpose of the program is to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Prospective applicants may contact CDFA’s Federal Funds Management Office at 916-657-3231 or

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814