Nevada Dept of Ag Offers $250K Specialty Crop Grant; Viticulture Qualifies

The Nevada Department of Agriculture has announced funding for its Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, legumes, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture),” according to a statement from the Department.

A student clips a grape vine at the Nevada Vines & Wines Academy on March 18,2017. Photo: @GrapeBasinNews

“Viticulture definitely qualifies,” said Agriculture Department spokeswoman Rebecca Allured. “We have funded wine industry projects in the past.”

While the awards will go to projects that enhance the “competitiveness of Nevada’s specialty crops,” the Department specifically disqualifies private parties as sole beneficiaries.

“Individual producers can apply,” Allured said. But the proposed project must have multiple beneficiaries, and should be for research, marketing, education, or outreach.

“Not simply to start up or improve operations,” Allured told GBN.

Nonprofit and tribal organizations, minority groups, disadvantaged farmers, agricultural associations, industry groups, community based organizations and academic institutions are also encouraged to apply, the Department says. Nevada boasts several community-oriented food distribution and research projects funded by the specialty crop grant program.

The funding is available through a partnership between Nevada and the United States Department of Agriculture. Letters of intent are due by March 15, 2018. Full application proposals are due a month later.

UPDATE – This story has been updated to reflect comments from Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Rebecca Allured.