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Apr 18th
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California garners more than $19 million from federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

SACRAMENTO – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that California has been allocated $19.76 million in funding for the 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).

The agency awarded approximately $66 million nationwide for projects that help support growers of specialty crops through research, market development, environmental stewardship and more.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is designed to enhance the markets for specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.

“California’s leadership in the production and development of specialty crops is due in large part to the innovative nature of our growers,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The research, market development and other projects supported by this partnership with USDA help keep our farmers on the cusp of innovations from food safety to stewardship, from identifying niche markets to expanding international exports.”

The announcement marks the beginning of the 2014 grant cycle.

In 2013, CDFA was awarded approximately $18 million and solicited competitive proposals for projects including market enhancement, agriculture education, nutrition, and research.

The 64 projects funded under the 2013 SCBGP reflect the diversity of California’s specialty crops across the state, including: creating economic opportunities for specialty crop producers through market development activities that focus on local, regional, or international markets; development of effective agritourism associations to enhance rural tourism and promote specialty crops; food safety benefits and training programs; growing community food systems in underserved neighborhoods; online irrigation nitrogen management tool for cool season vegetables; and research to mitigate impacts of invasive pests.

 In addition, CDFA partnered with the Center for Produce Safety in the evaluation and recommendation of food safety related projects. These projects represent an ongoing effort to minimize outbreaks by proactive research.

Information about the program, including California’s 2013 projects, is available online at www.cdfa.ca.gov/grants .

 

Thompson leads bipartisan call to require all federal agencies to only buy U.S. flags made in America

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-5) led a bipartisan letter with Rep. Pete King (R-NY-2) to President Barack Obama requesting that he require all federal a...

Mendo Lake Credit Union Board elected

UKIAH, Calif. – Robert L. Scott of Westport is the new chair of the Mendo Lake Credit Union (MLCU) board of directors.

Scott was elected to the post during the credit unio...

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SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang has released his monthly report covering California's cash balance, receipts and disbursements in March 2014.

Revenues for the mo...

California pump prices continue to climb

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CDFA announces vacancy on Livestock Identification Board

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Food and Agriculture Bureau of Livestock Identification  is announcing a vacancy on the Livestock Identification Advisory B...

Former California state tourism director leads county marketing workshop

Former California state tourism director leads county marketing workshop

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Twenty Lake County business leaders, many from the tourism industry, along with City and County staff, participated in a marketing workshop on Wedne...

PG&E pledges to stay focused on safety despite federal charges

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – PG&E Corp. and its subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., pledged to stay focused on building the safest and most reliable natural gas syst...

U.S. Cellular names Kurtz sales manager for Clearlake location

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) has named Wayne Kurtz Sales Manager for the store in Clearlake.

In this role, Kurtz works closely with sales associates to he...

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