Grant Programs: Rural Energy for America and Specialty Crop Block Grant

​Two USDA grant programs may be of interest to vegetable growers or grower organizations.

The Rural Energy for America Program helps growers and small rural business improve energy efficiency, or purchase or install renewable energy systems. The program includes guaranteed loan financing and grant funding. For more information see the USDA website at www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-energy-america-program-renewable-energy-systems-energy-efficiency or contact Indiana’s rural energy coordinator Jerry Hay at 812-346-3411 Ext.126.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant provides funding to promote specialty crop competitiveness in Indiana. Grants are made to non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities and other organizations related to Indiana’s specialty crops industry. Past funding from this program has supported projects by grower groups, Purdue, and others in the areas of marketing, food safety education (e.g. GAPs A to Z programs), production education (e.g. Indiana Horticultural Congress), research on production practices, and more. Proposals are due to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) on May 1, 2015. For more information, see the ISDA announcement at secure.in.gov/isda/2474.htm.

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