Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The purpose of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is to provide funding for projects that enhance the competitiveness of Washington's specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, floriculture, and nursery products.
Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. For a complete list of eligible and ineligible commodities, see Definition of Specialty Crops [external link].
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) conducts an annual competitive 2-phase process to award grant funds, starting with the Concept Proposal. Our Request for Concept Proposals (RFCP) will be available September 21, 2018 and proposals will be due November 2, 2018.
2019 TIMELINE (Subject to Change)
|Request for Concept Proposals Released by WSDA||September 21, 2018|
|Concept Proposals Due||November 2, 2018, 4:00pm PST|
|Notifications to Applicants||December, 2018|
|Request for Grant Proposals Released (by invitation only)||December 20, 2018|
|Full Grant Proposals Due||February 20, 2019, 4:00m PST|
|Notification to Applicants||March, 2019|
|WSDA Application Due to USDA for Approval||May, 2019|
|Grant Award||USDA to Announce Awards||September-October, 2019|
The project must clearly and directly impact Washington state specialty crop producers or processors. - Eligible organizations include industry associations; producer groups; commodity commissions; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; local, state and federal government entities; and educational institutions.
The SCBGP will not award grant funds for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution or individual. This means that the program will not provide funds to start or expand a farm or other business venture.
Projects must solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Consider carefully whether your project is likely to have benefit to non-specialty crops. If so, the project is not likely to be funded.
Funding requests must fall between $25,000 and $250,000 per project. WSDA reserves the right to offer an award amount more or less than the amount requested.
DUNS # - A DUNS # will be required if the applicant is invited to submit a full grant proposal. A DUNS number is a unique number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) to identify organizations. Potential applicants and sub-applicants may acquire a DUNS number at no cost online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. This process should take 1-2 business days. To acquire a DUNS number by phone, contact the D&B Government Customer Response Center:
U.S. and U.S. Virgin Islands: 1-866-705-5711
Alaska and Puerto Rico: 1-800-234-3867 (Select option 2, then option 1)
Monday – Friday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., CST
System for Award Management (SAM)
To receive an award under the SCBGP, applicants are required to register with System for Award Management (SAM) and, in doing so, to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). SAM registration must be updated annually and be active and maintained with current information at all times during which the State Department of Agriculture has an active award or an application under consideration.
The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant and cooperative agreement applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization.
SAM is a centrally maintained government-wide database that includes the names of organizations and individuals that have been debarred, suspended, declared ineligible, or been voluntarily excluded; the reasons for that status; and the duration of that status. You can search exclusion records on SAM at www.sam.gov to identify those parties excluded from receiving federal funds. The State department of agriculture must document the results of the search and must disclose unfavorable information to the SCBGP before awarding funds. The SCBGP will consider the information as part of the determination of whether the State department of agriculture may award funds to that particular sub-applicant.
Delinquency on Federal Debt
Any organization or individual that is indebted to the United States, and has a judgment lien filed against it for a debt to the United States, is ineligible to receive a Federal grant. Applicants are required to indicate in their applications (on the SF-424 “Application for Federal Assistance”) if they are delinquent on any Federal debt. If the applicant discloses a delinquency, the SCBGP may not award the grant until the debt is satisfied or satisfactory arrangements are made with the agency to which the debt is owed.
Anyone who has been judged to be in default on a Federal debt and who has had a judgment lien filed against him or her should not be listed as a participant in an application for a SCBGP grant until the judgment is paid in full or is otherwise satisfied. No funds may be rebudgeted following an award to pay such an individual. The Federal Agency will disallow costs charged to awards that provide funds to individuals in violation of this requirement.
Debarment and Suspension
Regulations published in 2 CFR part 180 and 2 CFR part 417 describe the government-wide debarment and suspension requirements for non-procurement programs and activities. “Non-procurement” transactions include, among other things, grant agreements. SCBGP implements these regulations as a term and condition of award. State department of agriculture recipients must check the System for Award Management located at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/ prior to entering into a “lower-tier” transaction. “Lower tier” transactions include contracts (including individual consultants) under grants (where the contract requires the provision of goods or services that will equal or exceed $25,000) and all subawards.
If invited to submit a full proposal, you will be required to submit two (2) letters of support from industry.
Matching Funds and In-Kind Contributions
Matching funds or in-kind contributions are not required, but are strongly encouraged. Documentation will be required if invited to submit a Full Grant Proposal. There is no preference for a cash or in- kind match.
Ongoing Projects/Sustainable Funding
If the project is a continuation of a previously-funded project and is of an ongoing nature, a plan for sustainable funding will be required if invited to submit a Full Grant Proposal. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds are not intended to support projects indefinitely.
Indirect costs are unallowable under Washington’s grant program. Indirect costs are those costs incurred for a common or joint purpose benefiting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. Indirect costs, including administrative overhead, are not allowed as part of your grant request. Indirect costs (also known as “facilities and administrative costs”) are costs incurred for common or joint objectives that cannot be identified specifically with a particular project, program, or organizational activity. Below are typical indirect costs for specific types of organizations. The salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as indirect costs. Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate where all of the following conditions are met:
- administrative or clerical services are integral to a project or activity;
- individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity;
- such costs are explicitly included in the budget or have the prior written approval of the federal awarding agency; and
- the costs are not also recovered as indirect costs.
The following are considered indirect and should NOT be included in the Budget as direct costs:
- Information technology services
- Utilities and internet service
- Telephone service (mobile and land-line)
- General office supplies
Bibliography and References Cited (Research Projects Only)
If invited to submit a Full Grant Proposal all applicants submitting a research project are encouraged to provide a bibliography of any references cited in their proposal. The Bibliography and References Cited should be uploaded to Fluidreview, separate from the application. Each reference should include names, article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers and year of publication.
Award Recipients will sign a Grant Agreement with WSDA and must follow all applicable federal and state rules and regulations, including those for insurance coverage, procurement practices, and accounting procedures. In addition, recipients will submit detailed performance reports quarterly, annually, and at project completion; must keep thorough records; and closely monitor the project against expected outcomes. Failure to properly manage a grant award may result in the obligation to repay grant funds and/or exclusion from future grant opportunities.
Reimbursement of Grant Funds
Grant funds will be paid to recipients for approved expenditures on a reimbursement basis. Grant recipients must have the financial capability to pay project costs up-front, and may not request reimbursement more frequently than monthly.
SUBMITTING A CONCEPT PROPOSAL
The following sections will be required for a Concept Proposal:
- Cover Page
- Project Summary
- Project Purpose
- Project Beneficiaries
- Budget Table w/Brief Narrative
SUBMITTING A FULL GRANT PROPOSAL (must be invited)
The following sections will be required (if invited) to submit a Full Grant Proposal
- Cover Page
- Project Summary
- Project Purpose
- Project Beneficiaries
- External Project Support
- Expected Measurable Outcomes
- Budget Table with Detailed Narrative
- Two (2) Letters of Support