Specialty Crop Block Grant Project

California State Beekeepers Association

Grant Management and Implementation

Farmers Communication Exchange is experienced in working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant program.  We have applied for, received and managed numerous California Specialty Crop Grants over the past several years.  The most recent grant was obtained on behalf of the California State Beekeepers Association (CSBA) and was awarded in the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant program.

Farmers Communication Exchange was charged with completing both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 applications for this grant and is now responsible for implementing the grant project on behalf of CSBA and performing all reporting of grant activities to CDFA. 

As is frequently the case with Specialty Crop Block Grants, specific activities under the grant have changed since the original application. Farmers Communication Exchange has worked with CDFA to request line-item changes and was granted approval for the requested changes. We also work closely with the accounting staff at Ag Association Management Services — which administers the CSBA grant program — to ensure that all invoicing is in line with CDFA requirements.

Specifically, the grant project we are currently implementing for CSBA involves raising awareness of a program called BeeWhere which is designed to protect pollinators from accidental pesticide exposure.

Our firm has created a number of communications tools to increase awareness among target audiences which include beekeepers, pesticide applicators and specialty crop farmers. The tools are housed on the CSBA website’s BeeWhere section. They include a video, handouts to clearly explain the BeeWhere program to all target audiences. We also created a series of Toolkits designed to encourage other groups to share information about BeeWhere to their memberships via newsletters and social media. Additionally, a Facebook page was launched December 1 to support the effort. 

Farmers Communication Exchange is charged with developing and implementing all outreach efforts funded by the grant including design and placement of trade ads, distribution of press releases, posting and managing of social media. We are also working to develop a continuing education program for pesticide applicators that will be available through the Pesticide Applicators Professional Association (PAPA).