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Financial assistance is available to help landowners pay for conservation measures including animal feedlots, manure storage structure construction, and manure handling and application equipment. The following is a list of financial assistance programs available with contact information.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)
Minnesota State Office
375 Jackson Street, Suite 600, St. Paul, MN 55101
USDA - Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Minnesota State Office
375 Jackson Street, Suite 400, St. Paul, MN 55101
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Summary: The federal EQIP Cost Share program provides grants to farmers that implement eligible projects. Although it is available statewide, the majority of the funds are designated to "priority areas".
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is federally funded and administered by the NRCS (formerly SCS) with assistance from FSA. The focus of the program is to provide financial assistance to producers who want to implement certain conservation practices such as vegetative buffer strips, grassed waterways, nutrient management and improved manure storage areas. Existing facilities with less than 1,000 animal units are eligible for all EQIP funds, while facilities over 1,000 animal units are limited to a few categories of funds. Owners constructing new facilities are not eligible for EQIP funds. Operations are allowed to expand by up to 25% and retain eligibility for EQIP cost share. Priority is given to areas where pollution problems exist or where the surrounding environment is susceptible to agriculturally-related pollution impacts. Facilities may receive funds for the cost of construction; however, NRCS engineering assistance in Minnesota is only available for facilities with less than 500 AU.
Facilities eligible for EQIP funds must prepare a site-specific conservation plan that outlines what conservation practices are to be implemented. Your local NRCS representative can assist you in the preparation of your conservation plan.
Funding is available for five to ten year contracts. The maximum allocation for an EQIP grant is $50,000 or 75 percent of the total project costs; whichever is less. Your local NRCS representative's office along with the Farm Service Agency's office is located at your County's USDA Service Center.
The FSA also provides loans that can be used for feedlots in some cases:
State cost share assistance is available for a variety of conservation projects including feedlot water quality improvement.
Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR)
St. Paul Central Office
One West Water Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55107
651-296-3767, Fax: 651-297-5615
BWSR is responsible for administering a state cost share grant assistance program for feedlot water quality improvements and other conservation practices. The program is delivered through county soil and water conservation districts (SWCD), with the Board of Supervisors deciding how to allocate assistance at the county level.
The assistance can cover up to 75% of the expense for a feedlot project with a maximum cost share assistance of $50,000. Some cost share requirements differ from county to county. Cost share grants can be used for pollution prevention feedlot improvements, basins and lagoons, and site improvements. It cannot be used for manure handling or application equipment.
Consult with the local SWCD for explanation of individual county requirements.
Projects started before approval by the Board of Supervisors are not eligible for state cost share assistance. Operators intending to receive this assistance should not begin any work eligible for cost share until the cost share is approved.
If there has been a formal enforcement action, the BWSR will work with SWCDs, county officials, and other state agencies to determine, on a case-by-case basis, the eligibility of specific feedlot operators for state cost share assistance. The determination will take into consideration the environmental and legal facts of the situation as well as the feedlot operator's demonstration of good faith.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)
625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538
651-201-6000, 800-967-2474 or 800-967-AGRI (toll free) ~ MDA.Info@state.mn.us
The MDA provides loans and grants to producers through several programs. Eligibility for assistance depends on the borrower and type of project.
Ag Marketing & Development Division
Finance & Budget Division/Rural Finance Authority
The contacts listed here are either regional service centers (which may also offer loans) or statewide banking organizations.
Finance & Budget Division
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org