Apply for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Find out information and how to apply for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
The current application round has ended. The next application round will begin spring 2018.

Mary Jordan

The Details

What you need

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds projects that aim to enhance the production and competitiveness of Specialty Crop industries in Massachusetts.

What is a Specialty Crop?

Find out what qualifies as a Specialty Crop. A full definition and list of Specialty Crops can be found on the USDA – Specialty Crop Website,

Who May Apply?

  • Socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers
  • Eligible non-profit organizations
  • Local government entities
  • For-profit organizations
  • Industry trade associations
  • Producer groups
  • Commodity commissions

Request for Response (RFR)

See “downloads” below to download the Request for Response (RFR). This document outlines and explains all details, requirements, and instructions for the SCBGP.

Application Form C

See “downloads” below to download Application Form C. This document is the template you will use to create and submit your application. All applicants must complete and submit the required application Form C.

How to apply

Download the RFR and Application (Form C) listed below, and follow the outlined template to create an application and follow necessary required criteria. Detailed instructions for application requirements can be found on the RFR.

Four (4) copies of the SCBGP application (Form C) must be received at MDAR’s office (not postmarked) by the required date and time listed on the RFR, and one copy must be emailed to Leah Luong at

Must be received or hand delivered by due date on RFR

Attention: Leah Luong
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114-2151

Must be received or hand delivered by due date on RFR

Attention: Leah Luong
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114-2151

More info

The suggested dollar value of projects is between $40,000 and $90,000 per project.

Examples of Eligible Projects:

  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops;
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems;
  • Assisting all entities in the specialty crop distribution process in implementing practices and standards that improve food safety which may include but are not limited to the “Commonwealth Quality Program”, “Good Agricultural Practices”, “Good Handling Practices”, “Good Manufacturing Practices”, and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors;
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes;
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops;
  • Pest and disease control;
  • Development of organic and sustainable production practices


Examples of Ineligible Projects:

  • A proposal for funds to purchase starter plants or equipment used to plant, cultivate, and grow a specialty crop for the purpose of making a profit, or to expand production of a single business;
  • A proposal for funds from a specialty crop organization to promote their members’ businesses;
  • A proposal for capital expenditures for general purpose equipment, buildings, and land;
  • A proposal that seeks additional funds to support a current or previously funded state or federal project;
  • A proposal that seeks to support a non-specialty crop project.




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