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Specialty Crop Block Grant

Specialty Crop Block Grant

Status: ISDA is now accepting applications for 2024 funding. Applications are due by 12:00 p.m. ET on March 22, 2024.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program helps State Departments of Agriculture enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops throughout the state of Indiana by:

  1. Leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
  2. Assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
  3. Expanding availability and access to specialty crops; and,
  4. Addressing local, regional, and national challenges confront specialty crop producers.

Specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).”  Please refer to the list of plants on the United State Department of Agriculture website to determine eligibility:

Eligible Projects

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program projects must enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state of Indiana to be eligible. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed project will benefit the specialty crop industry and/or the public as a whole. Projects that benefit a single entity, organization, or individual are not eligible.

Eligible Applicants

For-profit entities (including sole proprietors), nonprofit entities, local units of government (e.g., towns, cities, counties), and both public and private institutions of higher education (IHEs) may apply for the SCBGP.  Individuals acting on their own are not eligible to apply.

ISDA SCBGP Application Resources:


Questions? Contact:

Emily Conwell, Economic Development Program Director | 317.502.5673

Success Stories

Slaughter Orchard & Cidery - 2023 Awardee

SCBG Slaughter

Slaughter Orchard & Cidery was awarded $163,680 in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funds in 2023 to demonstrate to orchards, cider mills, cideries and wholesale buyers that ground harvested apples can be safely and legally harvested, processed and fermented into hard cider by creating a HACCP Plan, demonstrating the HACCP Plan for stakeholders during multiple field days and writing a position paper explaining how the process can be achieved safely and legally by others in the apple, cider and hard cider industries.

Slaughter Orchard & Cidery presented their Indiana Specialty Crop Block Grant on the safe harvest of ground apples to make hard cider at CiderCon 2024, the annual meeting of the American Cider Association in Portland, Oregon.  Interested orchards, cider mills, cideries, researchers, and industry participants were able to discuss how they can participate in upcoming orchard demonstration days and learn safe methods for harvesting and processing ground apples into juice for fermentation into hard cider. Their project will be completed by 2026.

Sign up for grant updates at Updates will include upcoming orchard demonstration days, a model HACCP plan, and an educational paper.

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