Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

March 17, 2010

Department to Host Webinars on Federal Specialty Crop Funding

On-Line Workshops to Explain & Provide Guidance on Grant Program

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will be hosting two educational webinars on the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which offers funding to states to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The webinars will provide an opportunity for potential applicants to learn about the program, USDA’s requirements, the application process and general grant writing techniques and considerations.

The Department hosted webinars are free to the public, but do require pre-registration, as well as Internet access. If interested, please email or contact Anne St. Cyr at (518) 485-0048. They will take place on:

· March 30, 2010 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

· March 31, 2010 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Between 2006 and 2009, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets utilized approximately $1.5 million in federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds to support research and grower education projects, primarily related to production challenges such as pest/disease management; marketing; and food safety. The Department is eligible to receive $1.2 million in 2010 and plans to release a competitive grant solicitation to the public later this spring.

New York State produces a wide range of specialty crops, which are generally defined by USDA as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture), maple syrup, herbs and spices, among others. New York ranks high in the nation in terms of both production and economic value for a number of specialty crops including fresh and processed vegetables ($529.7 million), apples ($261 million), floriculture ($202 million), wine and grape juice ($58.4 million) and maple syrup ($13.9 million).

For more information about the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, please visit

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