Specialty Crop Multi-State Program

Photo by Ben DeFlorio.

Contents

News

  • USDA released the 2017 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP) Request for Proposals (RFA) on June 26, 2017. 
  • The deadline to submit multi-state proposals to Participating State departments of agriculture is 5:00 PM Eastern time on September 25, 2017. 
  • Learn more about the SCMP and download the RFA at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scmp

About the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program

The Specialty Crop Multi-State Program (SCMP) is a federal grant program offered by USDA’S Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The SCMP competitively funds projects to solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through collaborative, multi-state projects that address regional or national-level specialty crop issues, including food safety; plant pests and disease; research; crop-specific projects addressing common issues; and marketing and promotion.

Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Additional examples of specialty crops include Christmas trees, culinary herbs and spices, honey, hops, and maple syrup. For specific crop eligibility, visit What is a Specialty Crop?

How does the program work?

Multi-state partners must submit proposals to a Participating State department of agriculture to be considered for funding. Participating State departments of agriculture are the only entities that can apply directly to AMS for SCMP funds.

Participating States accept proposals from multi-state partners; screen proposals to ensure they are complete and meet the basic requirements outlined in the 2017 RFA and submit all eligible proposals to AMS.

AMS will evaluate all submitted proposals and make final funding decisions. Participating States will then assume administrative responsibility for any funded proposals. As the official award recipients, Participating States will establish subgrant agreements with multi-state partners to complete funded projects. Participating States do not determine which projects are funded. 

Multi-state partners should select a Participating State soon and contact them to receive updates on the SCMP application process. Multi-state partners must select only one participating State department of agriculture to work with. Multiple submissions of the same application are not allowed.

Proposal Deadline

The deadline for multi-state partners to submit proposals to Participating State departments of agriculture is 5:00 PM Eastern time on September 25, 2017. Participating States will submit all eligible proposals to AMS by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on October 24, 2017.

How much funding is available?  

AMS will award approximately $7 million in this round, and proposals can request between $250,000 and $1,000,000.

Award Process

Definitions

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs, also known as administration costs, are any costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and cannot be readily identified with an individual project, program, or organizational activity. They generally include facilities operation and maintenance costs, depreciation, and administrative expenses. Indirect costs requested by multi-state partners, plus indirect administration costs requested by the Participating State, may not exceed 8% of the total cost of the project.

Multi-State Partners

The multi-state organizational team that submits a SCMP proposal to develop solutions for problems that cross state boundaries and address the needs of specialty crop growers. The team must involve at least two partners located in different states. A Participating State department or agency of agriculture which will provide only administrative support for the project does not count as a project partner.

Participating State Departments of Agriculture

Participating State departments (or agencies) of agriculture are the only entities that can apply directly to AMS for SCMP funds. Participating States accept proposals from multi-state partners, screen proposals to ensure they meet eligibility requirements, and submit all eligible proposals to AMS. Multi-state partners must submit proposals to a Participating State department of agriculture to be considered for funding. 

Specialty Crops

U.S. statute[1] defines specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Additional examples of specialty crops include Christmas trees, culinary herbs and spices, honey, hops, and maple syrup. Eligible processed products must consist of greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water. For specific crop eligibility, visit What is a Specialty Crop?

Contact

Visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scmp/states to select a Participating State to submit your SCMP proposal. Vermont is not a Participating State in this round; however, this will not impact any proposal's eligiblity for funding, as Participating States will submit all eligible propsals they receive to USDA-AMS. 

Kristina Sweet
Produce Program Manager
(802) 522-7811
kristina.sweet@vermont.gov

[1] Section 101 of the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 (7 U.S.C. 1621 note) and amended under section 10010 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79 (the Farm Bill)