Grants for Specialty Crops
The state Department of Agriculture announced the 2016 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant which will fund 21 projects managed by the state and assisted by other organizations.
WSDA grant administrator Leisa Schumaker says ours is a special state when it comes to specialty crops ...
LEISA SCHUMAKER ... "Well, Washington State is very diverse and the weather definitely plays into that. We've got the Eastside with the hot climate and the Westside is great for growing berries and some row crops. I feel like there is some different things that play into it and definitely the fact that we have such a great climate for growing so many different specialty crops."
I asked Schumaker why grants like these are important ...
LEISA SCHUMAKER ... "They're important because the work that's done with these projects, they're benefiting the specialty crop producers in Washington state. They're increasing the competitiveness of the growers, producers, and processors and it's just a great way to help the farmers in our state."
Washington ranks second, behind only California, in Specialty Crop grants ... that this year ranged from $25,000 to $300,000 to work on projects that include pears, apples, berries, nursery items, lentils, potatoes and projects to enhance food safety.
Our state has received over $27 million in grants over the past nine years.