PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture has awarded around $290,000 to six specialty crop projects around the state. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Specialty crops can include everything from fruits and veggies to honey and hops. This year’s projects include reduction of pesticide drift, mobile classrooms, marketing, education and increased sales of specialty crops.
Some of the specialty crops grown in South Dakota include hydroponic tomatoes, lettuce, grapes, fruits for juices, jellies and wines, confectionary sunflowers, honey, as well as lentils and chickpeas.
Grant recipients include:
- Vermillion Area Farmers Market from Vermillion
- Native American Advocacy Program from Herrick
- South Dakota Specialty Producers from Yankton
- Edmunds Central School District from Roscoe
- Edmunds Central School District from Hoven
- South Dakota Department of Agriculture, Division of Ag Services
“We have a wide variety of projects this year that are impacting the specialty crop industry. We have honey restoration, to mobile classrooms to educate our youth about the importance of specialty crops as well as projects promoting, preserving and marketing specialty crops in South Dakota. Very exciting year for the industry,” said SDDA Grant and Loan Specialist Kimberly Sturm.
Projects will have up to three years to complete their work, while being required to submit quarterly reports and reimbursement requests. New USDA rules for administering these grants will impact both the recipients and the awarding agencies.