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Illinois and Maine Award Specialty Crop Grants

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) received more than $591,000 through USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Producer groups, trade associations, nonprofits, and colleges and universities were eligible to apply for grant funds through the department. IDOA will split the funds between ten projects that are intended to expand the availability of fresh, locally grown produce and strengthen the state’s specialty crop industry. A list of projects is available online. Meanwhile, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (DACF) has announced the recipients of this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) awards in that state. In addition to a host of products from strawberries to mixed vegetables, funding will also go to a pilot project supporting farmers seeking certification in Good Agricultural Practices.