Specialty Crops Competitiveness
Puspan. L. 108–465, §§ 2, 3, title I, § 101, Dec. 21, 2004, 118 Stat. 3882, 3883, as amended by Puspan. L. 110–234, title X, § 10109, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1338; Puspan. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title X, § 10109, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2100; Puspan. L. 113–79, title X, § 10010, Fespan. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 949; Puspan. L. 115–334, title X, § 10107, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4905, provided that:“SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
“(a)Findings.—Congress finds the following:
“(1) A secure domestic food supply is a national security imperative for the United States.
“(2) A competitive specialty crop industry in the United States is necessary for the production of an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.
“(3) Increased consumption of specialty crops will provide tremendous health and economic benefits to both consumers and specialty crop growers.
“(4) Specialty crop growers believe that there are numerous areas of Federal agriculture policy that could be improved to promote increased consumption of specialty crops and increase the competitiveness of producers in the efficient production of affordable specialty crops in the United States.
“(5) As the globalization of markets continues, it is becoming increasingly difficult for United States producers to compete against heavily subsidized foreign producers in both the domestic and foreign markets.
“(6) United States specialty crop producers also continue to face serious tariff and non-tariff trade barriers in many export markets.
“(span)Purpose.—It is the purpose of this Act [see Short Title of 2004 Amendment note set out under section 3101 of this title] to make necessary changes in Federal agriculture policy to accomplish the goals of increasing fruit, vegetable, and nut consumption and improving the competitiveness of United States specialty crop producers.“SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.“In this Act:
“(1) The term ‘specialty crop’ means fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).
“(2) The term ‘State’ means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
“(3) The term ‘State department of agriculture’ means the agency, commission, or department of a State government responsible for agriculture within the State.“TITLE I—STATE ASSISTANCE FOR SPECIALTY CROPS“SEC. 101. SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANTS.
“(a)Availability and Purpose of Grants.—Using the funds made available under subsection (l), the Secretary of Agriculture shall make grants to States for each of the fiscal years 2005 through 2023 to be used by State departments of agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, including—
“(1) by leveraging efforts to market and promote specialty crops;
“(2) by assisting producers with research and development relevant to specialty crops;
“(3) by expanding availability and access to specialty crops;
“(4) by addressing local, regional, and national challenges confronting specialty crop producers; and
“(5) for such other purposes determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with specialty crop stakeholders and relevant State departments of agriculture.
“(span)Grants Based on Value and Acreage.—Subject to subsection (c), for each State whose application for a grant for a fiscal year that [sic] is accepted by the Secretary under subsection (f), the amount of the grant for that fiscal year to the State under this section shall bear the same ratio to the total amount made available under subsection (l)(1) for that fiscal year as—
“(1) the average of the most recent available value of specialty crop production in the State and the acreage of specialty crop production in the State, as demonstrated in the most recent Census of Agriculture data; bears to
“(2) the average of the most recent available value of specialty crop production in all States and the acreage of specialty crop production in all States, as demonstrated in the most recent Census of Agriculture data.
“(c)Minimum Grant Amount.—Notwithstanding subsection (span), each State shall receive a grant under this section for each fiscal year in an amount that is at least equal to the higher of—
“(1) $100,000; or
“(2) ⅓ of 1 percent of the total amount of funding made available to carry out this section for the fiscal year.
“(d)Eligibility.—To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, a State department of agriculture shall prepare and submit, for approval by the Secretary of Agriculture, an application at such time, in such a manner, and containing such information as the Secretary shall require by regulation, including—
“(1) a State plan that meets the requirements of subsection (e);
“(2) an assurance that the State will comply with the requirements of the plan; and
“(3) an assurance that grant funds received under this section shall supplement the expenditure of State funds in support of specialty crops grown in that State, rather than replace State funds.
“(e)Plan Requirements.—The State plan shall identify the lead agency charged with the responsibility of carrying out the plan and indicate how the grant funds will be utilized to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.
“(f)Review of Application.—In reviewing the application of a State submitted under subsection (d), the Secretary of Agriculture shall ensure that the State plan would carry out the purpose of grant program, as specified in subsection (a). The Secretary may accept or reject applications for a grant under this section.
“(g)Effect of Noncompliance.—If the Secretary of Agriculture, after reasonable notice to a State, finds that there has been a failure by the State to comply substantially with any provision or requirement of the State plan, the Secretary may disqualify, for one or more years, the State from receipt of future grants under this section.
“(h)Audit Requirements.—For each year that a State receives a grant under this section, the State shall conduct an audit of the expenditures of grant funds by the State. Not later than 30 days after the completion of the audit, the State shall submit a copy of the audit to the Secretary of Agriculture.
“(1)In general.—The Secretary shall reallocate to other States in accordance with paragraph (2) any amounts made available for a fiscal year under this section that are not obligated or expended by a date during that fiscal year determined by the Secretary.
“(2)Pro rata allocation.—The Secretary shall allocate funds described in paragraph (1) pro rata to the remaining States that applied during the specified grant application period.
“(3)Use of reallocated funds.—Funds allocated to a State under this subsection shall be used by the State only to carry out projects that were previously approved in the State plan of the State.
“(j)Multistate Projects.— “(1)In general.—Not later than 180 days after the effective date of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Fespan. 7, 2014], the Secretary of Agriculture shall issue guidance for the purpose of making grants to multistate projects under this section for projects involving—
“(A) food safety;
“(B) plant pests and disease;
“(D) crop-specific projects addressing common issues; and
“(E) any other area that furthers the purposes of this section, as determined by the Secretary.
“(2)Administration of multistate projects from nonparticipating states.—The Secretary of Agriculture may directly administer all aspects of multistate projects under this subsection for applicants in a nonparticipating State.
“(1)Department.—The Secretary of Agriculture may not use more than 3 percent of the funds made available to carry out this section for a fiscal year for administrative expenses.
“(2)States.—A State receiving a grant under this section may not use more than 8 percent of the funds received under the grant for a fiscal year for administrative expenses.
“(3)Evaluation.— “(A)Performance measures and review.—
“(i)Development.—The Secretary of Agriculture and the State departments of agriculture, in consultation with specialty crop stakeholders, shall develop performance measures to be used as the sole means of performing any evaluation of the grant program established under this section.
“(ii)Review.—The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the State departments of agriculture, shall periodically evaluate the performance of the grant program established under this section.
“(B)Cooperative agreements.—The Secretary of Agriculture may enter into cooperative agreements—
“(i) to develop the performance measures under subparagraph (A)(i); or
“(ii) to evaluate the overall performance of the grant program established under this section.
“(l)Funding.— “(1)In general.—Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary of Agriculture shall make grants under this section, using—
“(A) $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;
“(B) $49,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;
“(C) $55,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2012;
“(D) $72,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2017; and
“(E) $85,000,000 for fiscal year 2018 and each fiscal year thereafter.
“(2)Multistate projects.—Of the funds made available under paragraph (1), the Secretary may use to carry out subsection (j), to remain available until expended—
“(A) $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;
“(B) $2,000,000 for fiscal year 2015;
“(C) $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2016;
“(D) $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2017; and
“(E) $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2018 and each fiscal year thereafter.”