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One major area of focus for Matson Consulting has been working with farmers involved with specialty crops, especially certified organic and locally grown items. According to the USDA, the definition of these specialty crops is, “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture” (USDA). This definition, while more specific than previous legal explanations, includes a wide variety of crops other than just fruits and vegetables. We have conducted several research projects and worked with multiple clients on their specific specialty ventures.

Producers who are transitioning to or expanding their current production of specialty crops has been and remains a priority of our research and assistance at Matson Consulting. Specialty crop producers are important not only for providing healthier food and floriculture options, but they are also significant contributors to projects such as food hubs, farmers markets, and local food systems. These producers also have a positive impact on their local economies by providing more jobs and more sales dollars.

Matson Consulting understands the needs and concerns of producers and maintains a passion for not only assisting existing producers in advancing their businesses but also for helping newcomers to the industry. Our work on feasibility studies, business planning, industry research, and grant assistance has given us the chance to further invest ourselves in the industry and demonstrate our commitment to the success of specialty crop producers.

The USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) is an important resource for producers which Matson Consulting has significant experience with. The grant is intended for agricultural producers in need of assistance for planning or working capital in order to begin value added projects.

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) is another valuable means for producers to obtain funds. Through this program, state department agriculture can support projects that enhance specialty crop competitiveness through practices such as improving food safety, developing new/improved crops, improving efficiency, etc.

To read more about the USDA’s increasing commitment to organic food production and monitoring, follow this link to a post on our LinkedIn page.

Follow the links below to see some examples of our publications and case studies on ventures in the specialty crop industry.

Feasibility Analysis of a Prototypical Chestnut Cooperative

Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative Case Study

Virginia Local Foods Compendium

Buying Local?