US (NC): Ag Department accepting applications for 2023 specialty crop block grant program

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is accepting grant applications for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Nonprofits and government agencies wishing to apply have until March 3 at 5 p.m.

Applicants can submit a draft application for staff review by January 25 to gain feedback on their grant proposals. A pdf of the draft application should be sent to

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program aims to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the marketplace. It is managed by the department through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“In 2022, we awarded $1.35 million for ten projects across the state. We anticipate $1.2 million in funding this year,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The success and growth of specialty crops are important as North Carolina agriculture continues to diversify and as the industry inches closer to the $100 billion mark in economic impact.”

The department will accept grant requests of up to $200,000 from nonprofit organizations, academia, commodity associations, state and local government agencies, colleges, and universities. Grants are not available for projects that directly benefit or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual.

Eligible projects must involve fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, culinary herbs and spices, medicinal plants, nurseries, floriculture or horticulture crops. USDA provides guidance on what is a specialty crop at the following link: 

For grant guidelines and an application, go to:

For questions, contact Jenni Keith at 919-707-3158 or by email at:


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