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NDTO News Article

NDTO Awarded Specialty Crop Block Grant from ND Dept. of Agriculture

FARGO, ND –  This week, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture awarded the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) with a 2020 Specialty Crop Block Grant in the amount of $98,857 to fund the “Securing International Pulse Buyers” project. These funds will be utilized to highlight ND specialty crop companies, producers, and processors at the 2021 Gulfood show in Dubai, UAE.  Overall, this activity will increase awareness of our region and the reliability of specialty crops produced here. The USDA defines specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture,” which for ND, includes crops such as as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils. For a complete listing of specialty crops defined by the USDA, click here.

“Support through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture is greatly appreciated by our producers and processors to increase exports and build awareness for specialty crops” says Drew Combs, Executive Director of NDTO. The NDTO team has years of expertise to assist companies with export planning, market research, and making the right connections to ensure success. This grant will help companies participating in Gulfood to make connections throughout the world. Combs goes on to say, “It has been a tough year for everyone with the global pandemic, so additional funding is a bright spot that can really make a difference to keep exports moving and situate ND on the map as a global player.” Continued support from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture is greatly appreciated with our mutual goal of promoting the state and all it has to offer.

The funding will benefit both ND and Upper Midwest specialty crop companies to expand into export markets by increasing their product visibility globally. NDTO looks forward to providing continued assistance ND exporters as we seek to boost global trade for our state. Funds for this project are provided by the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program and are administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

If your company is interested in participating, please contact Jiwon Kim at For questions on applying for grants funds, please contact Amanda Nordick at