California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross is pleased to announce the opportunity to serve as a reviewer on the 2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant Technical Review Committee. The role of the Technical Review Committee is to review, evaluate, and make recommendations on proposals to fund projects that will ensure the continued competitiveness of California specialty crops. CDFA forwards recommendations along to USDA, which funds the block grants through the federal Farm Bill. Individuals interested in serving on the Technical Review Committee are urged to apply by December 16, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
Up to $17 million will be allocated to California specialty crops, which are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).
The Specialty Crop Technical Review Committee will consist of individuals who are interested in specialty crops and who may represent government and non-government organizations. Members receive no compensation and are required to complete CDFA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Conflict of Interest form, and the Fair Political Practices Commission’s Statement of Economic Interests form. Technical Review Committee members are entitled to reimbursement for necessary traveling expenses in accordance with the rules of the California Department of Personnel Administration.
The timeframe for reviewing proposals is between January 2012 and June 2012. The first meeting will be held Mid-January 2012. By establishing the Technical Review Committee, CDFA is adhering to the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act, which encourages the development of state plans through a competitive process to ensure maximum public input and benefit.
Individuals seeking consideration should include a letter of interest, which includes a short bio and statement of qualifications identifying two Areas of Emphasis to work on behalf of California’s specialty crop industry. For a description of the Areas of Emphasis please view the Notice of Funding Availability posted on CDFA’s website at www.cdfa.ca.gov/grants. The letter of interest should be addressed to Crystal Myers and sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.