Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has announced the availability of more large-project orchard grants.

Communities and schools are eligible to apply for grants of $5,000-$20,000. The grants are available on a competitive basis.

“We funded some large projects earlier this year that are going very well and wanted to extend the opportunity for more groups who have asked about the possibility of doing a substantial project in their communities,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Due to the current health crisis, we realize it may be difficult to organize volunteers to install an orchard in a timely manner, so we are allowing funds to be used for professional installation of the orchard.”

Grant funds can be used for plants, trees, planting supplies, soil amendments, irrigation and fencing supplies. Grant funds cannot be used to purchase land, permanent structures or for capital expenditures. Grant funds are for new projects and not the continuation of existing projects.

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Application forms for the grants, a checklist to help ensure a successful project and a publication about starting a community orchard are available on the NDDA website at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/orchardproject. Applications are due by Friday, Dec. 4,. Orchards must be planted and projects complete by Aug. 31, 2021.

Questions about the grant program or requests for assistance filling out the application should be directed to Jamie Good, local foods marketing specialist at (701) 328-2659 or jgood@nd.gov.

The North Dakota Community Orchard Project is funded through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.