South Dakota: Specialty crop sector receives grant funding

PIERRE, S.D.- The South Dakota Department of Agriculture has awarded about $250,000 to seven specialty crop projects around the state. The funds come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Specialty crops can include everything from fruits and veggies to honey and hops.

South Dakota Department of Agriculture grant and loan specialist Kimberly DeSchepper says, “This year’s projects include research, marketing, production collaboration and networking for berry producers to the chefs that prepare food for our tables. Some of the specialty crops grown in South Dakota include hydroponic tomatoes, lettuce, grapes and fruits for juices, jellies and wines, confectionary sunflowers– the ones we eat– as well as lentils and chickpeas.”

Grant recipients include:

· South Dakota Specialty Producers Association based in Yankton (2 grants)

· Cobblestone Science, LLC from Spearfish

· Cheyenne River Youth Project from Eagle Butte

· South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Sioux Falls

· South Dakota State University in Brookings

· South Dakota Wine Growers Association

Projects will have up to three years to complete their work, while being required to submit quarterly reports and reimbursement requests. For more information about the grants or this year’s recipients, go to

Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect and preserve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

–South Dakota Department of Agriculture