Specialty Crops Block Grant Funding

Specialty Crops Block Grant Funding

Diane Szukovathy, President of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a Washington, Oregon, and Alaska farm-to-florist cooperative of flower growers, talks about the plans for the USDA Specialty Crops Block Grant funding of $138 thousand recently awarded to the SWGMC.

SZUKOVATHY: A significant chunk of that money goes into educational programs for teaching growers on season extension, and we’ve already offered a couple of cut flower grower school two day sessions that give people who are involved in agriculture already, but maybe not a lot of specific knowledge, the fundamentals of quality cut flower production.

Some of those fundamentals include...

SZUKOVATHY: Varieties to grow, stages of harvest, post harvest care, marketing - so really the overview, intensive kind of offerings.

There’s another exciting part to this project.

SZUKOVATHY: A lot of people who want to buy local also want to know that they’re supporting good farming practices and preservationists, local farm land. So we are working with the Salmon Safe Program. They work with different non-profit stewardship agencies in a region. The ultimate goal with that will be to offer certified salmon safe products, including collectively made bouquets, so that a consumer can go into a store and purchase Washington/Oregon grown, salmon safe floral products.

Szukovathy says the grant funding will also be used to raise public awareness about the lack of country of origin labeling requirements for imported floral products.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Ag Information Network. 

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