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MDARD Seeking Public Input on the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Comments due by December 10, 2021

For immediate release: November 4, 2021

LANSING, MI – Today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced a public input opportunity for the Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to ensure effective program priorities.  Comments need to be emailed to by December 10, 2021.

The comments received will be considered by the department when developing final program funding priorities for 2022.

The MDARD Specialty Crop Block Grant Program awards funds to projects to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops. Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).  The grant program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service, from the federal Farm Bill funding, as well as additional funds referred to as H.R. 133 Stimulus Funding.

USDA is encouraging H.R. 133 funding to be COVID-related, noting anything traditionally allowable under the Farm Bill funding is permitted. MDARD welcomes public comments on COVID-19 related disruptions impacting the specialty crop food supply.

Last year, funding priorities were focused on:

  • Market Enhancement to promote specialty crops
    • Market Expansion, Availability, and Access to Specialty Crops
    • Farm to Institution
  • Research and Development relevant to specialty crops
    • Plant Health & Pest Management
    • Farm Sustainability
  • Training & Education addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers
    • Enhancing Food Safety
    • Environmental Sustainability
    • Workforce/Labor

All interested parties should visit for more information on Michigan’s Specialty Crop Block grants. All public comments must be submitted to by 5:00 p.m. on December 10, 2021.  The input received will be considered when developing final program funding priorities for 2022, which will be announced in January 2022.