Grant program aims to cultivate specialty crops across Alaska

first_imgThe Alaska Division of Agriculture is seeking applicants for a federal grant program targeting specialty crops around the state.Alaskans can receive grants of up to $60,000 for projects that “enhance the competitiveness of Alaska Grown specialty crops, sustain farmers’ livelihoods, and strengthen local communities,” according to a statement from the division.“We’re looking to connect with producers,” said Lyssa Frohling, a Division of Agriculture grant coordinator. “We’re looking to connect with nonprofits, schools, basically any business that can demonstrate a project that will benefit Alaska farmers and producers and specifically the specialty crop producers.”What’s a specialty crop? They can include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and even horticulture, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Frohling said past Alaska grant recipients have included a wide range of projects.“There’s a rhubarb variety trial project going down in Southeast Alaska; we also funded a peony project that’s studying a lot of storage — like cold storage of peony crops — and then also dealing with thrips, which is a big pest that peony producers are trying to deal with in Alaska,” Frohling said.The state is planning to hold an informational teleconference for potential applicants on Jan 16 from 10-11 a.m. and Jan. 23 from 2-3 p.m. The deadline to submit a letter of intent for the grant is Feb. 11, and the final deadline is March 25. Click here for teleconference and application details.last_img read more