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Department of Agriculture Offers Workshop On Applying For Block Grant

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FREDERIKSTED — The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDOA) invites persons who are interested in applying for a Specialty Crop Block Grant to an informational workshop to be held at the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service REC room 133 on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Topics to be discussed include: Definition of Specialty Crop, Purpose of Grant, History of the Grant Program (nationally/locally), Application Process, Eligibility and Sub-Grantee Responsibility, Proposal Criteria and Format, Proposal Evaluation Criteria and Reporting.

SCBG funding is made available to successful applicants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the territory. Funds received by the VIDOA from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) are awarded to sub-grantees to establish fruit orchards, community gardens, or to conduct apiculture training.

The VIDOA encourages interested individuals to attend this very important workshop to become familiar with the program and apply for funding. Funding is limited. Grant application packages may be obtained at the department offices on all three islands.

For more information and to obtain a grant application package, please contact Errol Chichester at 340-778-0997 ext. 222 or visit the Department offices on all three islands.

The deadline for applications is April 15.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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