Specialty Crop Producers
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has been notified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it will receive up to $585,268.02 in Specialty Crop Block Grants for projects that help support specialty crop growers.
The DACF Division of Agricultural Resource Development has a requirement for grant proposals which, if approved, will become part of a State of Maine plan submitted for approval and funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. In accordance with State procurement practices, the Department is hereby announcing the publication of a Request for Proposals (RFP #201803046) for proposals from qualified applicants.
The Specialty Crop Block Program, administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service encourages states to develop projects pertaining to issues affecting the specialty crop industry. In addition, DACF has established priority areas:
- Any proposal from the previous year which was for a multiple year term and was only funded for the first year of the project. For those projects that fit under this category, they must submit a new proposal and show progress from the first year’s funding in the work plan section of the proposal.
- Enhancing food safety education, primarily in relation to new FDA rules regarding improved handling and processing of specialty crops.
- Enhancing integrated pest management research and education for programs for specialty crops.
- Research and Demonstration of marketing and distribution systems for specialty crops.
- Domestic and international market expansion of Maine Specialty Crops.
Review of the RFP and Submitting a Proposal:
A copy of the RFP, as well as the Question & Answer Summary and all amendments related to this RFP, can be obtained at the following website: http://www.maine.gov/purchases/venbid/rfp.shtml
The Department encourages all interested vendors to obtain a copy of the RFP and submit a competitive proposal.
Proposals must be submitted to:
Proposals must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via e-mail, to the following email address: Proposals@maine.gov. Proposal submissions must be submitted no later than 4:00 pm, local time, on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018, when they will be opened. Proposals not received at the Division of Purchases’ aforementioned email address by the aforementioned deadline will not be considered for contract award.
Maine and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program:
Since 2006, the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which is administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), has awarded over $4.5 million dollars to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to support the growing number of Maine specialty crop producers who are selling into local and regional markets.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/