There are two opportunities available for farmers to apply for financial assistance due to the 2021 drought and for damages caused by this spring’s storms. Please share these opportunities with others in your network who may have been affected and see below for webinars on how to prepare and apply for drought relief funding!
2021 Drought Relief
The Minnesota Legislature passed $8.1 million for drought relief funding for specialty crop and livestock producers impacted by last summer’s drought. Eligible farmers can apply for up to $7,500 in drought related expenses such as water handling equipment (new or improvements made to wells, irrigation equipment, etc.) feed transportation for livestock and livestock hauling, and more. For more details on eligible expenses, see the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) 2021 Drought Relief Program page here.
The application portal will be opening June 21 and farmers need to start preparing now to quickly apply for funding. The MDA will be administering the grant dollars, and the application will be open for 10 business days; MDA strongly encourages folks to apply online. You will not have to submit receipts of expenses along with your application, but MDA does recommend that you start gathering receipts to have those handy.
To help get you ready for submitting your application, two Zoom webinars are available to help you prepare your documents (for example, filling out a W-9 form) and a webinar with MDA to walk through the actual application once it is live. Click the links below to register!
2 Webinars to Help Prepare and Apply for Drought Relief
1) Preparing to Apply for Drought Relief: Tuesday, June 14, from noon-12:30 p.m. There will be a 20-minute presentation along with a question-and-answer time to cover the preparations farmers should make right away to be ready to apply.
2) How to Apply for Drought Relief: Wednesday, June 22, from noon-1:15 p.m.. The webinar will discuss the kinds of expenses the drought relief will cover, and walk through an example of the application process. There will be staff from MDA there to answer questions as well.
Once the drought portal is open, you can e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-201-6500.
Spring 2022 Storms: Zero-Interest Disaster Loans
Due to this spring’s storms, the Rural Finance Authority Board has declared a number of counties in Minnesota as being in a state of emergency and people there will be able to apply for zero-interest loans for expenses related to physical property damage and/or death of livestock taking place due to heavy rains and high winds. If you had damages to your barns, silos, equipment, etc., or loss of livestock, and live in the affected counties, you are eligible to apply for these loans. To see what counties are eligible and for more details on applying for these loans, click here.
Please let LSP’s Laura Schreiber know if you have any questions and she will try to be a resource as much as possible. Once the drought portal is open, you can e-mail questions to email@example.com or call 651-201-6500.