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Funding Available for Community Development Financial Institutions to Support Farmers

New technical assistance grants will help expand agriculture-focused services

St. Paul, MN: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) foster economic opportunity for diverse communities around Minnesota, and new funding is available to help them support more of Minnesota’s farmers. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for its CDFI Technical Assistance Grant, aimed at helping Minnesota’s certified CDFIs expand their agriculture-focused services.

The MDA expects to award approximately $260,000 in one-time funding through a competitive review process, with individual grants of between $10,000 and $200,000 available for certified CDFIs in two main areas of technical assistance:

• Technical assistance provided by CFDIs to farmers (e.g., assisting farmers with loan readiness or expanding outreach efforts toward targeted groups with agriculture-focused financial services).

• Technical assistance for CDFIs to increase their own capacity to serve farmers (e.g., to develop their agriculture lending program or internal knowledge and processes as a foundation to provide financial services to farmers).

The deadline to apply for the grant is 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 5, 2024. The MDA will notify applicants in October about whether their proposal was funded.

Full grant details and the request for proposals (RFP) can be found on the MDA website.

Applicants must be certified CDFIs who serve or intend to serve farmers in Minnesota and have participated in at least one U. S. Department of Agriculture grant or loan program. A certified CDFI is defined as a bank, credit union, microloan fund, or venture capital provider who has completed a certification process with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund.

An online public information session about this technical assistance grant will take place at noon on Wednesday, July 31, 2024. The MDA will review basic information included in the RFP including applicant eligibility, funding timelines, and application questions. Registration is required.

 

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