September 12, 2022

Department of Agriculture Awards Grants to Increase Missouri Specialty Crop Production

In total, 20 grants were awarded to support specialty crop production in Missouri.


The Missouri Department of Agriculture has awarded 20 projects across Missouri with funding through two different USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant programs to strengthen the market for Missouri grown specialty crops.

More than $900,000 will be used for projects that will expand markets, increase production, research crop-specific solutions for pests and diseases, or educate growers and the public about specialty crops.

The first set of projects were awarded funding through the Specialty Crop Block Grant. Additional projects are funded through H.R. 133 stimulus funds due to Covid-19 impacts to the food system. These funds prioritize projects that respond to Covid-19 impacts, including responses to supply chain disruptions.

The following projects were awarded Specialty Crop Block Grant funding for 2022:

  • Dissecting Genetic Determinants of Grape Berry Acids in Chambourcin-based Hybrids
    • Missouri State University - $49,974
  • Developing an Understanding of the Virus Situation with Missouri Elderberries
    • University of Missouri - $49,804
  • Water Quality and Good Agricultural Practices Certification for Produce Growers
    • University of Missouri - $42,340.44
  • SCG Field and Farm
    • Springfield Community Gardens - $41,400
  • Enhance Extension Specialists Capacity in Teaching Hydroponics for Specialty Crops
    • University of Missouri - $49,950
  • Promotion of Specialty Outdoor Mushroom Production
    • Truman State University - $17,951
  • Growing Native Ferns as Specialty Crops in Missouri
    • Lincoln University - $47,985
  • Fingerling Potato Production in Moveable High Tunnels to Expand Missouri’s Vegetable Market
    • University of Missouri - $28,216.88
  • Weed Management Practices to Increase Sweet Potato Production in Missouri
    • University of Missouri - $28,080
  • Investigating Pathogen Spread and Developing Management Strategies of Boxwood Blight
    • Lincoln University - $29,688.27


The following projects were awarded through H.R. 133 stimulus funds:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Enhance Missouri’s Specialty Crop Industry
    • Missouri Department of Agriculture - $89,974.58
  • Detecting Downy Mildew Resistance in ‘Chambourcin’-based Progenies via Marker-Assisted Selection
    • Missouri State University - $49,996
  • Black Walnut as Protein Source in Response to Supply Chain Disruption
    • University of Missouri - $49,000
  • Specialty Crops Seasonality Educational and Marketing Campaign
    • Columbia Farmers Market - $50,000
  • Increasing Farm Sustainability and Local Food Security through Grafted Tomatoes
    • Nichols-Richardson Foundation Trust, Cassville - $49,902
  • Development of Smart-Farm Irrigation Toolkit for Smallholder Vegetable Producers
    • University of Missouri - $49,973
  • Promoting and Strengthening MO Farmers Markets and Specialty Crop Organizations
    • Missouri Farmers Market Association, Statewide - $50,000
  • CoMo Cooks Shared Value-Added Production Kitchen
    • Business Loop Community Development District, Columbia - $39,963.85
  • Increase Access to Hops and Expand Hops Production and Distribution
    • Valley Farms, Foristell - $45,362
  • Urban Farm Training from Dreaming to Implementation
    • Rustic Roots Sanctuary, St. Louis - $49,979

A list of previously funded projects is available on the Department’s website.

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at Agriculture.Mo.Gov.