From specialty crops to restaurants, state Ag Department has grants

Variety of different programs available
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Several grant funding opportunities are available at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to help everyone from restaurants to small farmers.
“Every year, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture offers a number of grant funding opportunities to support farmers, restaurants, and research institutions,” Ag Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “As we work to support small businesses and farmers who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, producers may find these grant opportunities helpful to their operations.”
Buy Local – Connecting farmers to restaurants
The Buy Local program provides incentives for participating restaurants and other food service businesses to buy and use Kentucky Proud products for their customers. The program offers participants a 15 percent reimbursement for the cost of eligible Kentucky Proud farm food up to $8,000 a year or a lifetime cap of $36,000.
For Buy Local guidelines and an application, go to kyproud.com/buylocal. For more information, contact Grace Ragain at grace.ragain@ky.gov or (502) 782-4110.
Farm To Fork – Showcasing Kentucky farm products
The Farm to Fork program provides incentives for local organizations to host dinners that showcase local farms, farmers, producers, and Kentucky Proud products while benefiting a local charity. This cost-share grant reimburses up to 50 percent (no more than $500) of the approved applicant’s Kentucky farm-sourced food purchases and/or event promotional expenditures branded with the Kentucky Proud logo.
For more information, contact Alisha Morris at alisha.morris@ky.gov or (502) 782-4119. For guidelines and an application, go to kyagr.com/marketing/farm-to-fork.html.
Promotional Grant – Advertising with Kentucky Proud
The Kentucky Proud Promotional Grant reimburses members for up to 50 percent of future eligible expenses for advertising, marketing, and reaching consumers at the point of purchase to promote agricultural products with direct Kentucky farm impact. Grants are limited to 10 percent of the applicant’s reported direct Kentucky farm impact up to $8,000 a year or a lifetime cap of $36,000.
For more information, contact Jonathan Van Balen at jonathan.vanbalen@ky.gov or (502) 782-4132. For an application, guidelines, and other documents, go to kyagr.com/marketing/grants.html.
Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) – Diversifying Kentucky agriculture
The Specialty Crop Block Grant program is a federal grant program aimed at supporting specialty crops in agriculture. Applicants must describe how the projects will potentially affect and produce measurable outcomes for the specialty crop industry and/or the public.
As well as 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations and quasi government entities, small business owners and privately owned companies are also eligible to apply. All projects are subject to the availability of funds. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. The deadline for 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Farm Bill Funds concept proposals is March 1, 2022.
Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticultural products, nursery crops (including floriculture), and honey. For a comprehensive list, interested parties may visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop.
KDA receives grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for the specialty crop grant program and conducts an annual competitive application process to award grant funds.
For more information, contact Jonathan Harris at JonathanK.Harris@ky.gov or (502) 226-0919. Additional details may be found at kyagr.com/marketing/crop-block-grant.html.
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