8th District Representative Kim Schrier was in Wenatchee Tuesday in part to announce that nearly $73 million in grants for specialty crops have come available.

'Specialty crops' include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, according to the USDA.

Schrier, a member of the House Agricultural Committee, said that everyone on the committee understands the need to invest in rural America, but many members are focused on crops like soy and corn.

"So I'm there as the squeaky wheel saying, 'Wait a minute. We've got specialty crops that are particularly valuable but also particularly sensitive to pestilence, weather, you name it.'"

The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds projects designed to support the specialty crop sector while also trying to open up new market opportunities. For more information about grant eligibility, visit the SCBGP website.

Schrier and USDA Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt visited the Washington State University Wenatchee Tree Fruit Extension, toured Stemilt's facility north of Wenatchee, and participated in a roundtable discussion with local growers at Pybus Market.

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