Merkley, Wyden: Over $2 Million in USDA Awards Headed to Strengthen Oregon’s Specialty Crop Industry

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced a total of $2,098,097.03 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) awards to Oregon Department of Agriculture for 16 different projects. The SCBGP funding is intended to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support works to strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops—vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

“Agriculture is deeply ingrained into Oregon’s economy, and our diverse landscape allows our farmers to grow many unique crops better than anyone else in the world,” said Merkley. “This funding will help support and promote our fantastic specialty crop products here in Oregon and beyond. I won’t stop fighting to ensure the state’s world-class agriculture sector has what it needs to continue to grow and thrive.”

“Oregon’s farmers grow world-renowned crops, and this federal investment helps elevate that bounty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and more to even higher levels of success,” Wyden said. “I’m glad our state has earned these grants that support agriculture continuing to generate jobs throughout Oregon while producing nutritious and tasty food. And I’ll keep battling to secure similar federal resources that provide opportunities for state farmers to do what they do best – grow quality crops.”

These SCBGP awards will be used to fund projects that support the specialty crop industry by enhancing food safety, investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes, developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops, and improving strategies for pest and disease control.

A list of funded Oregon Department of Agriculture projects can be found below:

  • $175,000 to Oregon Blueberry Export Expansion to Southeast Asia
  • $174,998 to Cultivating Seed Starting Champions! Driving Sales of 50 Specialty Crops
  • $174,997 to Certifying Oregon Wine Grapes as Bee Friendly
  • $174,094 to Oregon Craft Cider Market Development via National Cider Conference
  • $173,363 to Collaborative Market Development for Climate Resilient Vegetables in Oregon
  • $169,124 to Expanding and Developing BIPOC Specialty Crop Farm Business and Markets
  • $167,135.86 for Grant Administration
  • $166,664 to Developing and Integrated Pest Management Program for Spotted Wing Drosophila
  • $161,539 to Viable Solutions for Symphylans in Specialty Crops – Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos
  • $110,000 to Establish, Maintain FPA-FF Area for Milton-Freewater
  • $109,333 to Overcoming Barriers to Crop Use in Hazelnut Production
  • $90,280 to Farm to Families: Expanding the Market for Specialty-Crop Farmers
  • $86,299 to Enhancing the Safety of Oregon Specialty Crops
  • $54,479 to Family Nurturing Center-Growers’ Cooperative Family Food Education Site
  • $44,743 to Before Harvest – Behind the Scenes of Oregon’s Specialty Crops
  • $53,228 to Fertility, Population Dynamics, and Pollinator Attractiveness of Standard and “Sterile” Butterfly Bush to Inform Regulation