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Illinois projects to be funded through Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has awarded the Illinois Department of Agriculture more than $544,000 through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

The money will fund eight projects within the state designed to create new market opportunities for Illinois specialty crops.

More than $100,000 will be used to expand specialty crop education programs including the Illinois Specialty Growers Association’s annual conference. Nearly $75,000 will be utilized at Southern Illinois University to develop a solar powered mobile cooler for handling strawberries post-harvest to improve shelf life. Another $75,000 will help the University of Illinois build a food safety program for small specialty crop growers, beginning farmers and socially disadvantaged farmers to help them comply with food safety regulations and audit requirements.

Click here for a full list of projects and descriptions.

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