The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is seeking proposals for a grant program designed to enhance the competitiveness of the Golden State’s specialty crops.

Up to $15 million will be made available in grant amounts ranging from $75,000 to $500,000 per project. CDFA receives funding for the grant program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

For this program, specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

The competitive solicitation process begins with the submission of concept proposals by eligible non-profit organizations; local, state and federal government entities; for-profit organizations; and universities. The applicants with the most competitive proposals will be asked to submit a more formal application.

Applicants can access the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) at www.cdfa.ca.gov/grants for detailed solicitation and application instructions.

To streamline and expedite the application process, CDFA is partnering with the California State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts an online application site using the Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). All applicants must register for a FAAST account.

Prospective applicants can contact CDFA’s Federal Funds Management Office at (916) 657-3231 or grants@cdfa.ca.gov.