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2010 WEST VIRGINIA SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM (SCBGP). Melissa Hudson & Cindy Martel, Marketing Specialists February 1, 2010. Gus R. Douglass, Commissioner. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). Federal grant program administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture

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2010 west virginia specialty crop block grant program scbgp l.jpg


Melissa Hudson & Cindy Martel, Marketing Specialists

February 1, 2010

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Gus R. Douglass, Commissioner

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Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

Federal grant program administered by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture

First round of funding in 2005 did not define or specify specialty crop

Federal FY2006 (funding available in 2007) defined specialty crops and eligible projects; office and administrator at USDA assigned

Federal FY2008 legislation further narrowed the definition and eligible projects

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SINCE 2007……

  • 117 projects approved

  • $586,724.40 awarded

  • Funding based on a formulation including a $100,000 base and additional funds for percentage of US specialty crops grown in the recipient state

  • For 2010, the estimated funding level for West Virginia is $175,000

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Projects must……

  • Be SOLEY for the enhancement of specialty crops

  • Have a significant education, research, outreach or program component

  • Follow all federal grant guidelines for expenditures, grant management and reporting

  • Have a qualified fiscal agent able to receive federal funds (no liens or encumbrances)

  • Be completed in the 3 three grant life cycle from the time of federal allocation

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Significant Changes in 2010

Reimbursement funding rather than up front funds (monthly)

Exclusive program to specialty crops

Increase in maximum amount that can be requested (now $15,000)

Electronic submission of application and reporting

More frequent reporting and program updates

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Significant Changes in 2010

Grants will be awarded only to projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Mixed crop venues or publications (i.e. ads, farmers market) that include non-eligible crops such as meats or eggs will need to provide a method of factoring true specialty crop only expenses and ineligible crops can not be promoted in marketing and publication materials (i.e. ads, websites).

Grants will now reimburse grantee expenditures, rather than awarding funds up-front. Grant recipients will be able to submit expense reimbursement requests on a monthly basis.

Only one round of funding will be available in 2010.

The maximum request amount has risen to $15,000.00 per proposal.

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Significant Changes in 2010….

  • Beginning with the 2010 program, all correspondence must be submitted electronically. This includes applications, reports and final project documentation such as pictures.

  • Budget charts will include in-kind and matching categories. Additional points will be awarded to projects that include multiple partners and account for program input. All partners should submit support letters in the application.

  • Applications that do not include measurable outcomes and results will not be considered.

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Significant Changes in 2010….

Applicants may be requested to modify or adjust their application and provide additional data to reports and results. These are time sensitive and failure to provide requested information may mean applicants being withdrawn from consideration.

Employee and travel expenses will be eligible for reimbursement in accordance with federal grant guidelines and required documentation.

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Program Priorities

  • Food Safety

  • Producer Education

  • Sustainable Production Practices

  • Increasing child and adult nutrition

    knowledge and consumption of Specialty Crops

  • Developing “Good Agricultural Practices”,

    “Good Handling Practices”, and “Good Manufacturing Practices”

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Program Priorities

Specialty crop research for new or existing varieties to increase market variety and consumer consumption

Projects that do notaddress one of the above priorities are still eligible for funding, as long as they meet all other program requirements. Examples of other program areas include: improved efficiency, distribution cost reduction, transportation and/or processing systems, connecting growers and buyers, increasing the number of specialty crop growers, developing local and rural economies, and improving food access in underserved communities.

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Eligible Applicants

  • Under USDA rules, grants cannotbe awarded for projects that directly benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single company or individual. Be sure to include outreach, industry benefit and/or technology distribution methods in your proposal.

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Maple syrup







Vegetable Seeds

Eligible Crops

  • Algae

  • Christmas trees

  • Cocoa

  • Coffee

  • Cut flowers

  • Dry edible beans

  • Dry peas

  • Foliage

  • Fruit grapes for wine

  • Ginger root

  • Ginseng

  • Herbs

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Oil crops such as peanut, soybean, sunflower, safflower, rapeseed, canola, mustard seed


Range grasses


Sugar beets




Ineligible Products

  • Cotton and cottonseed

  • Feed crops such as barley, corn, hay, oats, sorghum grain, millet, alfalfa

  • Flaxseed

  • Food grains such as rice, rye, wheat

  • Livestock and diary products, including eggs

  • Marine or fresh water aquaculture

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Eligible Projects

  • Project proposals should focus on enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops through one or more of the following four categories:




    4.)Innovation/Efficiency (Facilities/Equipment)

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Research projects

-Pumpkins, blueberries, wine grapes

Promotional projects

-Farmers markets

Organizational development

-West Virginia Farmers Market Association

Educational programs

-Conferences, workshops, field days, training

Technical Assistance


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Past Projects Nationwide……..

  • http://www.ams.usda.gov

    • Commodity Areas

  • Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

    • Grant Awards

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    To Apply…….

    • Submit project proposal (no more than 10 pages; 20 with supporting documents)

    • Competitive review process

    • Creation of State Plan including all projects based on ranking

    • Project award

    • Program administration

    • Monitoring

    • Reporting

    • Completion

    • Final report

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    2010 Program Education-Scheduled Webinars:

    • February 1, 2010

      • Program overview

      • Qualified projects

      • Application materials

    • February 22, 2010

      • How to prepare and submit your project proposal

    • Future (TBA)

      • Program administration

      • Reimbursement procedures



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    Grant Proposal

    • Maximum of 10 pages (does not include support documents)

    • Following sections must be addressed:

      • Project Purpose

      • Potential Impact

      • Expected Measurable Outcomes

      • Work Plan

      • Project Commitment and Oversight

      • Financial Feasibility/Budget

      • Signed Agreement Page

      • Supplemental Information (Letters of support, collaborator commitment)

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    Competitive Review Process

    • All projects reviewed and scored based on standard criteria by at least 3 reviewers

    • Comments and feedback for future applications provided on an anonymous basis

    • Reviewers rank projects, recommend funding and may suggest changes, merging with similar projects or reduced funding

    • Non eligible projects will not be reviewed

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    Submission of State Plan & Grant Award

    • Due to Washington Mid-July

    • Further questions and clarification may be required

    • Projects CANNOT begin until after State Plan approved; reimbursement requests for expenditures before the agreement date will not be paid

    • Successful projects notified of submission to USDA

    • Paperwork for state purchasing system issued and collected

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    Program Administration & Monitoring

    • Includes monthly drawdowns and reimbursement

    • Includes site visits

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    • Annual and Final Reports

    • Financial Reporting

    • Success Story Creation

    • State and Federal Grant Requirements

    • Completing USDA requests for additional information

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    Does your group….

    Have the people and resources to carryout your project proposal

    Have sufficient capital (funds) to be able to pay for expenditures and follow reimbursement guidelines

    Adequate staff to create proposal and submit reports on a timely basis

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    • The project, billed as “An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away’” will be held in conjunction with the annual event and focuses on the history and nutritional importance of the Golden Delicious apple while encouraging daily consumption of this fruit for nutritional benefits and lifestyle adaptation. The project will target the youth audience at the event and outreach in the local schools.

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    Specialty Crop Block Grant Program(SCBGP)

    Grant Manual

    Fiscal Year 2009 Funding Cycle-Farm Bill Allocation


    Application Due Date:

    March 15, 2010

    The forms in this manual may be reproduced.

    Additional copies of this publication may be obtained from our website at:


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    Available in .pdf or MS Word


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    February 22, 2010

    1:00 PM

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    West Virginia Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Assistance Staff

    Jean Smith, Director, Marketing & Development Division

    (304) 558-2210; jsmith@ag.state.wv.us

    Cindy Martel, Marketing Specialist-Oak Hill

    (304) 541-9756; cmartel@ag.state.wv.us

    Melissa Hudson, Marketing Specialist

    (304) 558-2210; mhudson@ag.state.wv.us


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    Thank You

    for participating in this webinar!

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