California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura is pleased to announce federal grants totaling more than $1.3 million to 12 innovative agricultural projects. All selections were made according to guidelines established by the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 — with an aim to increase the production of U.S. specialty crop growers and their market shares in domestic and international markets.

“I would like to congratulate each of our award recipients and thank them for their commitment to innovation,” said Secretary Kawamura. “By funding research with federal programs such as this one, we can jump-start other innovative practices in agriculture to benefit the state as a whole.”

Applicants for the grant program were evaluated using a statewide competitive process. Proposals were judged by technical teams at CDFA and sister agencies and selected on the basis of several criteria, including innovation, value, critical need, and demonstrated support.

The general areas of interest the funded programs address include marketing, nutrition education, environmental compliance, pest prevention and crop production. CDFA will provide fiscal oversight, ongoing technical assistance, and direction to all grant recipients to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements.

The award recipients are as follows:

—Buy California Marketing Agreement

—Central Coast Vineyard Team

—California School Nutrition Foundation

—California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

—CDFA – Detection and Eradication Tools for Exotic Fruit Flies

—Project Apis m. – Evaluation: Sampling Honey Bee Health

—University of California, Davis

•Garden Project

•Ecological Footprint of Walnuts

•Control of Diaprepes Root Weevil

•Control of Tomato Leaf Curl

•Natural Product Herbicides

•Mechanical Weed Control For more information about each project and the program generally, please click on this link: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Specialty_Crop_Competitiveness_Grants/Grants.html

CDFA’s Federal Fund Management Office will review progress reports to confirm that recipients’ goals and objectives are being met. Site visits and desk reviews will be made by office staff to ensure adherence to expenditure protocols and to provide recipients with assistance throughout the federal audit process. The office will develop future notices of available funds, as well as offer assistance evaluating new grant proposals.