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Grants to South Dakota Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, Tribes, IHEs, and Individuals to Enhance Specialty Crop Markets

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

GrantWatch ID# 181108
Agency: State

Funding Source
South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SD DANR)
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Geographic Focus
USA: South Dakota

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/24/23 11:59 PM CT Save

Grant Description
Grants to South Dakota nonprofit organizations, government agencies, IHEs, Tribal governments, producer organizations, and individuals to enhance the competitiveness of local crops. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed prior to applying. Funding is intended to be used for marketing, promotion, research, food safety, nutrition, distribution, and best management practices to advance the specialty crop industry.

The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops produced in South Dakota. Specialty crops are defined as "fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture)."

Grant funds can be used to increase specialty crop consumption and purchasing, expand production and market access, bolster food safety knowledge and processes, improve pest and disease control and environmental sustainability, contribute to new seed variety development, and expand specialty crop research and development.

South Dakota is prioritizing three of the USDA AMS Outcomes for the FY23 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for proposals funded under this solicitation:

  1. Increasing Access to Specialty Crops and Expanding Specialty Crop Production and Distribution
  2. Increasing Consumption and Consumer Purchasing of Specialty Crops
  3. Improve Environmental Sustainability of Specialty Crops

Proposals are welcome for projects working to accomplish any of the seven AMS outcomes below, and SD DANR welcomes projects that target multiple outcomes and indicators. Projects that meet at least one of South Dakota’s three priority areas will receive priority. SD DANR will consider projects that address at least one of the USDA AMS Outcomes:

  1. Increasing Consumption and Consumer Purchasing of Specialty Crops
  2. Increasing Access to Specialty Crops and Expanding Specialty Crop Production and Distribution
  3. Increase Food Safety Knowledge and Processes
  4. Improve Pest and Disease Control Processes
  5. Develop New Seed Varieties and Specialty Crops
  6. Expand Specialty Crop Research and Development
  7. Improve Environmental Sustainability of Specialty Crops

Examples of Allowable Projects:

  • A non-profit organization requests funds to demonstrate the viability of organic small fruit production and partners with Cooperative Extension to publicize the working model of diversification to other regional growers.
  • A single farmer implements food safety practices or models on his/her property to meet food safety requirements and conducts a field day and training services to encourage other small family farmers to adopt the methods. 

For information regarding eligible project expenses, see:


Additional Eligibility Criteria
This solicitation is open to non-Federal entities located in the state of South Dakota that are active participants or stakeholders in the South Dakota specialty crop industry. Examples of eligible applicants include State, Local, or Tribal governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, research institutions and institutions of higher education.

For-profit businesses and individual producers may apply. However, SD DANR will not fund projects that solely benefit an individual producer, business, or other applicant entity. Additionally, the USDA AMS Terms and Conditions prohibit subrecipient use of awarded funds to compete unfairly with companies that provide equivalent products or services.

Proposals will not be funded if they:
- Fail to directly address and demonstratively enhance the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops,
- Focus on or primarily benefit ineligible crops, or
- Solely benefit a single producer, organization, or business

Examples of Unallowable Projects:
- A company requests grant funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop to make a profit or to expand production of a single business or organization.
- A single specialty crop organization requests grant funds to market its organization so that it can increase its membership.

Generally, the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program will not fund the following expenses:
- Substituting SCBGP funds to pay for existing efforts or research already funded through other sources (“supplanting”)
- Paying off debt or fines and other penalties
- Capital expenditures for buildings, land, or general purpose equipment not used exclusively for technical project activities
- Alcohol and entertainment
- Fundraising, lobbying, or other political activities
- Promotional and marketing costs that create an unfair competitive advantage for the subrecipient over other members of the specialty crop industry

Pre-Proposal Conference
DANR Office Hours Q&A Session
February 16, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm CT

Click here to join the Office Hours via Microsoft Teams:

Or by dialing +1 605-679-7263, 729602574#.

Pre-Application Information
Applications Due: March 24, 2023, 11:59 PM Central Time

Notification of subrecipients of selection conditional on USDA AMS review: May 2023

For a detailed timeline, see:

Applicants will need: Unique Entity Identification number (UEI – replacing DUNS number). To receive a UEI, visit

Grant funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis.

USDA website:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Awards in previous years have ranged from $5,000 - $105,000. In 2022 DANR awarded five projects at an average of $78,286.

Term of Contract
The FY23 South Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Period of Performance is September 30, 2023, through September 29, 2026. Projects selected under this program will have a maximum period of performance of three years from 9/30/23 - 9/29/2026 but may propose a shorter project period if desired.

Contact Information
Submit applications to:

Timothy Schoonhoven
Grants and Loans Specialist
Phone: 605-773-6690
Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Resource Conservation & Forestry Division
523 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501

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