Washington, Oregon Specialty Ag Farm Efforts Funded By Grant

Federal dollars a windfall for PNW farm interests.

Published on: Nov 23, 2012

Washington State University harvested about a third of the latest $3.3 million in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant money for the state, with approvals for seven of the 25 projects approved for the federal funding.

Among the WSU work the newest allocations cover will be:

•$111,227 for work on identification of phytophthora root rot resistance true firs.
•$139,331 to probe the impacts of plow-down and cover crops on tulip production.
•$130,994 to look at the economics of grapevine leafroll disease and financial benefits of control.

Katy Coba
Katy Coba
•$232,423 for evaluation of irrigation practices for specialty crop risk reduction.
•$150,458 to increase Latino farmer specialty crops through intensive direct marketing and cross cultural training.
•$168,029 to enhance specialty crop profitability.
•$152,129 to strengthen food safety management systems for specialty crop production, pacing and processing in the Pacific Northwest.

Oregon farmers received a $1.49 million outlay from the latest specialty crop grant program, funding 22 projects in the state.

"A majority of Oregon's agricultural production comes from specialty crops," notes Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba, "so this is truly an important federal program that has a direct, positive impact on our growers. The program is a reminder of the need for Congress to pass the new Farm Bill so that Oregon and other states can count on future projects that keep our specialty crops competitive."

ODA approved $126,491 for its own projects, and provided Oregon State University with a $129,573 share.

Other Oregon projects approved included the following:

•Cascade Pacific Resource Conservation & Development, $60,001 to establish a demonstration truffle orchard.
•Ecotrust, $57,710 to "crack" the distribution dilemma in support of  specialty crop farmers.
•Klamath Basin Fresh Direct, $90,000 for a new marketing effort to promote organic potato production and sales.
•North Powder Charter School, $23,630 for the  school's fruit and vegetable hub.
•Northwest Food Processors Association, $90,000 to enhance exports for specialty crops.
•Oregon Essential Oil Growers League, $16,500 to develop an Oregon mint brand.
•Oregon Hop Commission, $49,958 to promote public hop varieties to craft brewers.
•Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, $89,841 to promote an Oregon Institutional Food Purchasing Project.
•Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission, $42,000 to expand Oregon berry grower food safety training; $51,139 for outreach promotion of processed PNW raspberries and blackberries to manufacturing/food service/restaurant markets in East Asia.
•Oregon Rural Action, $68,196 to increase markets.
•Portland Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition, $62,540 to promote the CSA.
•Portland Farmers Market, $68,650 to promote farmers markets.
•Seattle Wholesale Market Cooperative, $30,673 to reduce market barriers for sales of Oregon floriculture products to mass merchandisers in Puget Sound.
•Willamette Farm and Food Coalition, $34,370 to develop farm and school programs.
WyEast Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, $43,052 to ;promote specialty crops.

Other western states in the Western Farmer-Stockman readership area received the following specialty crop funding:

•Colorado: $681,603
•Idaho: $930,205
•Nevada: $259,627
•Montana: $328,766
•Utah: $289,267
•Wyoming: $205,549.

For more information on the specific projects allocated under the 2012 program, go to USDA SPECIALTY CROP AWARDS on the internet.

To read more of our coverage of the grants, see the December issue of Western Farmer-Stockman.