IDOA officials accepting federal crop grant proposals

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SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say they are now accepting federal crop grant proposals from farmers' markets, roadside stands, and other programs that grow and sell specialty crops.

The grants are part of a $600,000 federal Farm Bill block grant, and is designed to help projects that aim to improve Illinois-grown specialty crops' economic competitiveness.  Projects that makes a profit for an organization or benefits a particular product are not eligible to receive a grant.

According to Department of Agriculture Director Philip Nelson, these specialty crops are a primary source of income to many farmers.  Eligible programs may submit their grant proposals to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers' Market and Local Food Promotion Program.
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