Funding available for sustainable agriculture demonstration projects
Grants help farmers test new ideas to increase sustainability
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is pleased to announce a new round of funding for the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. The grant is part of the MDA’s Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program. Approximately $250,000 is available to test ideas that could conserve natural resources, enhance profitability, and improve life on the farm.
This 26-year old program funds projects that demonstrate farming methods or systems that increase energy efficiency, reduce agricultural chemical usage, and show economic and environmental benefits.
“The MDA has a strong history of supporting sustainable agriculture,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson. “The Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program gives farmers a chance to try new methods of farming, and it helps mitigate some of the financial risk they may take to make an agricultural breakthrough. It’s a valuable program both for farmers and for the future of agriculture in Minnesota.”
Applications from farmers receive priority, but the program also funds Minnesota nonprofit and educational organizations that meaningfully involve Minnesota farmers in their projects. Projects must last two to three years and applicants may receive up to $25,000. Research findings and information are published in the annual Greenbook.
Since 1989, the MDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program has awarded more than $3.6 million to 324 statewide projects. Current and past grant projects are highlighted in the Greenbook, available at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/greenbook. Topics include Alternative Markets & Specialty Crops, Cropping Systems & Soil Fertility, Energy, and Livestock.
The deadline to apply is December 13, 2016 at 4:00 PM CST. For more information and application materials, visit http://www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/demogrant.aspx or call 651-201-6012.