Applications available for crop program

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

This year’s application process will be streamlined compared to past years. Applicants must submit a two-page “Concept Proposal” for competitive review. Selected projects will then be required to submit a formal grant proposal. Applicants have until March 15 to submit their two-page proposal.

Funding for 2013 is expected to be approximately $180,000. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, integrated technology at the farm level, promotion of locally grown specialty crops, research that increases production efficiency, programs that encourage youth production, farm-to-school concepts and beginning/minority owner farmer initiatives.

The program is available to groups and organizations involved in the production, processing and/or marketing of fruits and vegetables. Value-added products, such as commercially jarred products, also are eligible if they meet content criteria.

Details are available at or by contacting WVDA Marketing Specialist Melissa Beller at 304-558-2210 or