The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 30, 2013

Grants available for specialty crops

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and For-estry recently announced grants are available to promote the production of specialty crops.

Market Development Coordinator Jason Harvey said the USDA has made $380,000 available in grants to fund research into promoting such crops as a variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs and cut flower crops.

Harvey said the grants allow agricultural organizations and individuals an opportunity to research growing techniques and the development of new specialty crop varieties and then make information publicly available.

By promoting research, he said the focus of the grants is to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops by increasing nutritional knowledge, improving production efficiency, reducing distribution cost, enhancing the safety of these foods, and developing new seed varieties.

Harvey said the grants are available to single organizations, institutions, as well as individuals.

He said people interested in receiving grant money for their projects must impact the specialty crop industry as a whole rather than solely benefit a single farming operation.

Those interested in applying for a grant can go online to to find applications, a grant application manual, as well as an example of a previously funded project and an evaluation form.