(TRENTON, NJ) – The Christie Administration has received a $777,044 Specialty Crop Block Grant to fund 13 initiatives to benefit Garden State crops such as fruits, vegetables, as well as horticulture and nursery.
The grants are part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to promote specialty crops in the nation and stimulate food-and agriculturally-based community economic development. Much of New Jersey agriculture falls into the specialty crop category, which account for $882.4 million in sales annually in the Garden State.
“This federal money helps to stimulate interest in our produce and horticulture industries and strengthen New Jersey agriculture,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “The organizations receiving the grants will use the funds for promotional campaigns, research and education.”
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture will use a portion of the funding to support the popular Jersey Fresh and Jersey Grown programs. A majority of the projects support agricultural marketing and cooperative development. Several research projects also are included.
The New Jersey grant was announced on September 24 by the USDA, part of $52 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants funding 694 projects throughout the nation for 2014.