Commissioner Miller Announces $1.4 Million in USDA Funding to Strengthen State’s Specialty Crops

Aug 28, 2023

Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) awarded over $1.4 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Texas. This grant allows TDA to fund projects that will open new market opportunities for Texas specialty crop producers and increase the state’s competitiveness of specialty crop products.

“TDA is committed to investing in the future success of specialty crops here in Texas,” Commissioner Miller said. “Thanks to USDA and programs like the Specialty Crop Block Grant program, we’re able to provide our hardworking farmers more economic opportunities, research and development, and education surrounding specialty crops for current and future generations of Texan agriculture producers.”

Through the SCBGP, TDA will fund 10 projects focusing in areas such as food safety, nutrition education, plant health, marketing, and industry development.

“With this year’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funding, Texas is investing in innovative projects that will help address the needs of specialty crop producers within the region,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The funded projects will also further USDA’s efforts to ensure U.S. specialty crop products remain competitive in markets across the nation and abroad.”

The funding to Texas is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2023 SCBGP funding awarded to 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2023 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning Sept. 30, 2023. Since 2006, USDA has invested over $1 billion through the SCBGP to fund nearly 12,000 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and enhanced marketing opportunities for U.S. specialty crops products.

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