The Missouri Department of Agriculture today announced that 13 agricultural projects across Missouri have been selected to receive funding provided by USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to assist in the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state. The federal assistance totaling over $300,000 for Missouri projects is targeted to specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture, including floriculture and turf grass sod.
"The innovative specialty crop growers throughout Missouri are dedicated to education, good management practices and seeking new ways to increase market opportunities for Missouri farm families," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "As specialty crops continue to grow in popularity among both producers and consumers, we are committed to connecting Missouri farmers with value-added opportunities and the resources necessary for them to succeed in meeting their customers' needs."
The following organizations were awarded grants for 2013:
Cultivate Kansas City - to support an outreach team for the Get Growing Kansas City project that is comprised of eight people with a comprehensive skill set relative to growing, marketing, and distributing locally produced specialty crops - $15,000
Missouri River Bluffs Association - to encourage more producers to grow food in the five county Missouri River Bluffs Association region and encourage more customers to buy locally grown food through the implementation of a marketing campaign for locally grown food, development of a regional local food database, and facilitation of educational events at a farmers' market. SCBGP-FB funds will not be used to invite, register, or promote products that are not defined as specialty crops - $30,000
Missouri Wine and Grape Board - to continue to increase winery tourism and wine sales by extending the Missouri Passport Program - $25,000
The Menorah Legacy Foundation - to expand a mobile market campaign which makes fresh, locally grown food available and affordable for low-income persons living in urban "food deserts" without access to grocery stores or farmers' markets - $15,000