USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to Idaho

Thursday August 24, 2023

Boise, Idaho - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)this week awarded over $2.1 million in Fiscal Year 2023 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Idaho.

With this grant, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) will fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop products and create new market opportunities for the state’s specialty crop producers.

“With this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding, Idaho is investing in innovative projects that will help address the needs of specialty crop producers within the region,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The funded projects will also further USDA’s efforts to ensure U.S. specialty crop products remain competitive in markets across the nation and abroad.”

Through the SCBGP, the ISDA will fund 16 projects. Among ISDA’s projects, is the College of Idaho’s pollinator project. The university will be building on data collected in their previous grant to identify bee specimens collected near to or from specialty crop fields to determine if adjacent lands also contain pollinator habitat. Additional funded projects focus in areas including seed quality and health, disease management and sustainability.

“Each year I am impressed by the wide array of projects that Idaho’s grant recipients execute to further enhance the value of our specialty crops in Idaho,” said ISDA Director Chanel Tewalt. “Specialty crops significantly contribute to Idaho’s agricultural economy, making these projects incredibly important to our state.”

FY 2023 SCBGP Idaho recipients include:

  • Boise State University
  • College of Southern Idaho
  • College of Idaho
  • Idaho Eastern-Oregon Seed Association
  • Idaho Eastern-Oregon Onion Committee
  • Idaho Hop Grower’s Commission
  • Idaho Oilseed Commission
  • Idaho Preferred
  • Idaho Wine Commission
  • Panhandle Farm Corridor
  • University of Idaho

The funding to Idaho is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2023 SCBGP funding awarded to 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2023 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning Sept. 30, 2023. Since 2006, USDA has invested over $1 billion through the SCBGP to fund nearly 12,000 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and enhanced marketing opportunities for U.S. specialty crops products.

More information about these awards is available here.