MDA Grants for Farmers — Ask Questions, Pitch Ideas & Get Support

  • Benson Fire Hall, 1410 Kansas Avenue, Benson, MN 56215
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  • RSVP to Robin Moore, LSP, 320-269-2105, Robin Moore, rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has grants available for innovative farmers. At this Land Stewardship Project meeting, we will discuss what it takes to successfully complete and submit one of these grants or to help develop an idea you might have. Michael Greene of the MDA will be there to answer questions about the grants.

These grants are for farmers who want to try new conservation practices, beyond what’s “being done already.” Many of you do this on your own dime and could use the money that’s out there to do more.

If you have questions or would like to attend, please contact LSP's Robin Moore at 320-269-2105 or rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org.

Grants We Will Discuss:

SARE Farmer Rancher Grant: The Land Stewardship Project recently did this one with a group of farmers trying different cover crops. It paid for cover crop seed, for the farmer’s time, and for biological soil tests to help monitor the results.

- $9,000 for individual, $18,000 for two partners, up to $27,000 for three or more partners.

- There are no matching funds required.

- Will pay for 100 percent seed and labor, up to 50 percent of equipment costs, infrastructure (fencing, water, etc) and/or livestock.

- Project can run from 12 to 24 months.

- Application deadline: December 6, 2018.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Development Grant: We completed an earlier version of this grant (ESAP – Environment and Sustainable Ag Program) with two farmers looking to improve pastures with drilled-in cover crops. The grant covered seed, labor and biological tests.

- Up to $50,000 per applicant.

- Up to $25,000 does not need to have matching funds.

- $25,000-50,000 need 50 percent matching funds.

- You must have a “technical coordinator” that is not a family member to help advise the project. If you don’t already have someone in mind, we can help you with this.

- Labor, wages, consultants, durable goods costing under $1400, rental, soil testing, leasing and custom costs… all ok. Equipment and permanent infrastructure are not allowed.

- Application Deadline: December 12, 2018

Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Livestock Investment Grant:

- Grant can pay for the purchase, construction,or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock. This includes fencing feeding equipment, and waste management equipment.

- The grant will not pay for livestock, buying pasture/cropland, animal feed, crop seed, planters, combines or debt refinancing.

- "Livestock" include beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervidae (deer), ratitae (flightless birds including emu) and llamas.

- Grant is for 10 percent of the first $250,000 of an eligible investment, minimum investment by the farmer of $4,000 is required.

- For each project, the maximum grant amount available per year is $25,000; only one grant per project and the lifetime maximum is $50,000.

- Deadline: Dec. 15, 2018

Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Value Added Grant:

- Minimum $1,000, maximum $200,000, for up to 25 percent of your value-added project.

- For equipment or improvements for your agribusiness, like meat processing, farm-to-school projects, storage or other kinds of processing…. It is best to look at past examples of what has been funded online.

- This deadline is coming up very soon, October 5, so this would be more for planning for the next round if you are interested.