The USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program awarded a total of $4.6 million to research nurseries, fruits and vegetables, with approximately half of the funds going to WSU researchers.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture receives funds from the USDA, which then are distributed in a competitive process. Potential grant winners must go through two phases to receive the funding, according to the WSDA.
WSU research teams were awarded 14 out of the 25 grants disbursed. Kirti Rajagopalan, an assistant research professor at WSU, accompanied by a multi-departmental research team, received $249,971 from the specialty crop grant.