- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
USDA announced yesterday that it is awarding $49 million for 745 projects to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops; $16 million will go to California. The agency's news release said the USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.
United States Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced), chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, also issued a release about the award yesterday, saying grants will provide funding for a host of partnerships with UC Davis and UC Merced.
The Cardoza release said California's $16.3 million will fund projects to address such issues as food safety, production research, programs to advance exports, water recharge and pest control.
"This is a great day for California agriculture," the release quoted the congressman. "I could not be more pleased to see the many long hours we spent working on this legislation in Washington producing direct tangible results for California farmers."