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These grants support innovative on-farm research and demonstrations. Projects must explore sustainable agricultural practices and systems, and findings are published in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's annual Greenbook publication.
Applications from farmers receive priority, but the program also funds Minnesota nonprofit and educational organizations as long as Minnesota farmers are meaningfully involved in the project. Projects can last from two to three years, and applicants may receive up to $25,000 for their projects, although many request less. Grantees must be willing to share what they learn with others.
Applicants must live or work in Minnesota and demonstrations must occur on farms located in the state. An applicant is eligible to receive only one AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant at a time. Grantees who complete projects are eligible to receive additional grants to either continue the project or for a new idea.
Please review the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant RFP background information and guidelines page, which includes the reviewer scoring criteria.
What's Eligible & Amount Available
The program objectives are to explore the profitability, energy efficiency, and benefits of sustainable agriculture practices and systems from production through marketing. Grants are available to fund on-farm research and demonstrations and may include, but are not limited to:
- Farm diversification using traditional and non-traditional crops and livestock
- Cover crops and crop rotations
- Conservation tillage
- Input reduction strategies, including nutrient and pesticide management
- On-farm energy production, such as wind, methane, or biomass
- Developing/refining marketing opportunities, season extension, and post-harvest storage and handling
- Other creative ideas that focus on conservation, energy, profitability, and/or farmers’ quality of life.
The program does not fund projects that duplicate previously funded projects. It may, however, fund similar projects in parts of the state where the practice or system is still considered new or innovative. We encourage you to read prior issues of the Greenbook, which contains summaries and locations of previous grants. Using the Greenbook will help you design a competitive project.
A total of nearly $250,000 is available this year.