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MANHATTAN — The Kansas Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant H.R. 133 Stimulus Program. This program is in addition to the traditional Specialty Crop Block Grant Program; awards for that program will be announced later this fall.

Funds for both grant programs are awarded to the agency by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The funds are in turn granted to projects and organizations to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops; assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops; expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers. Specialty crops are defined by the USDA as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including floriculture.”

Due to COVID-19 impacts on the food system, Congress authorized one-time additional funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant H.R. 133 Stimulus Program outside of the traditional Farm Bill funding under the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Kansas is expected to receive approximately $450,000 in H.R. 133 Stimulus funding for the 2021 grant cycle.

Applications will be evaluated by a team of external reviewers. The team will rate proposals on their ability to successfully promote specialty crops in Kansas and make a positive impact on the Kansas economy. Those recommendations will be submitted to the Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, who will make the final awards.

Applications are due to KDA no later than 5:00 p.m. CST on November 24, 2021. For more information, please download the 2021 KDA Request for Applications from: agriculture.ks.gov/specialtycrop.

The vision of the Kansas Department of Agriculture is to provide an ideal environment for long-term, sustainable agricultural prosperity and statewide economic growth. To achieve this vision, the agency advocates for sectors at all levels and provides industry outreach.

Application Period Opens for Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for the new Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program and encourages eligible entities to apply now for funds. Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal at https://usda-prs.grantsolutions.gov/usda by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 22, 2021. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants, which are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

The PRS Grant program will assist small businesses in certain commodity areas, including specialty crop producers, shellfish farming, finfish farming, aquaculture, and apiculture; specialty crop, meat, and other processors; distributors; and farmers markets. Small businesses and nonprofits in these industries can apply for a grant to cover COVID-related expenses such as workplace safety measures (e.g., personal protective equipment (PPE), retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety, shifting to online sales platforms, transportation, worker housing, and medical costs. The minimum funding request is $1,500 and the maximum funding request is $20,000.

The RFA and the PRS Grant Portal provide more details about eligibility for the grant. Eligible entities are required to obtain a free DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) BEFORE applying for this program. USDA has created a custom PRS DUNS number portal at https://support.dnb.com/PandemicResponse.

Application resources including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), tip sheets in English and Spanish on applying for a DUNS Number, videos on “How to Apply” and more are available on the PRS Grant Portal.

For more information, you can also reach out to the PRS help desk, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. ET at (301) 238-5550 or usda.ams.prs@grantsolutions.gov.

Check your eligibility, obtain a DUNS number, and learn more about the application process at the PRS Grant Portal.

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