USDA okays specialty crop projects

USDA okays specialty crop projects

Washington Ag Today October 22, 2009 Washington organizations will receive $2.6 million in federal assistance as they work to expand economic opportunities for specialty crop farmers and develop more efficient farming practices.

After reviewing more than 100 initial concept papers and 35 proposals,
the Washington State Department of Agriculture selected 14
projects that will increase the competitiveness of the state's fruit,
vegetable and horticulture growers.

The funds come from the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan just recently announced the approval of 49 million dollars in projects nationwide.

Merrigan: “About 43% of them we would classify as marketing and promotion. That is the largest category but we have some number we would categorize mainly as education. Some that we categorize as food safety. Some that we would categorize as pest and plant health and some production and some research. “

Among the projects approved in Washington are the WSDA’s Farm-To-School Program, Washington Apple Commission overseas marketing efforts, the Washington Wine Commission’s promotion of state wines in Mexico and India, and several specialty crop research projects at Washington State University.

USDA announced yesterday that WSU is receiving over 566-thousand dollars through the National Integrated Water Quality program for protecting water resources by engaging stakeholders in targeted implementation of filter strips.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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