Grants available to support state's produce industries

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The Washington State Department of Agriculture is now accepting proposals for innovative projects to support the state's fruit, vegetable and nursery industry through the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 28.

About $3 million in grants will be available to Washington upon passage of the U.S. Farm Bill. Private and nonprofit organizations, commodity commissions and other public entities may request money for projects costing from $25,000 to $250,000 that benefit the competitiveness of fruit, vegetable, tree nut and nursery crop producers.

Application information, forms and schedules are at http://agr.wa.gov/grants/scbgp. For additional information, go to http://ams.usda.gov/scbgp or contact WSDA's Rianne Perry at rperry@agr.wa.gov or 360-902-2177.