Please contact Alison.email@example.com for a printed copy of the entire Greenbook 2017. (The online versions of the project reports will be posted as they are ready.)
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s annual Greenbook is back again with another great edition showcasing the creative projects funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. This year, we’re highlighting 36 projects by farmers, ranchers and researchers who have invested these grant dollars to explore practices that will make farming in Minnesota more sustainable. We are very proud of this program and the many ways it has impacted farmers and rural communities in Minnesota for the past 28 years.
New and better farming methods evolve through innovation. We believe the ideas these farmers and researchers are testing are integral to the future of agriculture. Many of the Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Program’s past projects have since become widely adopted such as integrated pest management and cover cropping.
In the Greenbook, you will find the results from currently funded demonstration projects. The grantees are focusing on ways to increase energy and labor efficiency, reduce purchased inputs, and improve both the environment and their bottom line.
Greenbook 2017 compiles all the farmers’ research trials and their hard data into an informative and interesting read. To learn more about any of the projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the grantee. You’ll find contact information listed at the beginning of each project summary.
The MDA funded 7 new projects and will be accepting applications again next fall, so if there’s a sustainable farming idea you’d like to try, please keep that opportunity in mind.
The Grant Program provides a unique opportunity for farmers, educational institutions, individuals at educational institutions, or nonprofit organizations residing or located in the state for research or demonstrations on farms across the state to work together to explore ways of enhancing the sustainability of a wide range of farming systems.
The Department of Agriculture has received over 1,146 grant applications and approved over $3.7 million in funding for 338 projects since the program began in 1989. Project categories include: Alternative Markets and Specialty Crops, Cropping Systems and Soil Fertility, Energy, Fruits and Vegetables, and Livestock. The current grant projects, located throughout the state of Minnesota, are described in the Greenbook 2017.
Grants provide a maximum of $25,000 for on-farm demonstrations that last up to 3 years. The projects demonstrate farming methods or systems that increase energy efficiency, reduce agricultural chemical usage, and show environmental and economic benefits. A Technical Review Panel evaluates the applications on a competitive basis and makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Agriculture for approval. The Technical Review Panel includes farmers, university agricultural researchers, extension agents, and educators, with assistance from the Agricultural Marketing and Development staff.
The Greenbook staff brings a broad range and many years of experience in sustainable agriculture areas. Each staff person focuses on individual topic areas where they have expertise and interest.
Organic Specialist. Cassie administers the organic program at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) including; the Minnesota Organic Conference and Organic Cost Share Program. In addition, she coordinates the Fruit Integrated Pest Management Newsletter for the department. Cassie has a MS in Sustainable Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and she joined the MDA in 2011.
Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Consultant. Jessica assisted the AGRI program at MDA in 2016 and 2017.
State Program Administrator; AGRI - Business Development and Tradeshow Support. Tori works with Minnesota food businesses to help expand their market access in the state and beyond. Tori joined the MDA staff in 2016.
Administrative Support. Alison provides administrative support to the staff and the program. Alison joined the MDA staff in 1990.
Administrative Support. Stephen provides administrative support to the staff and the program. Stephen joined the MDA staff in 2013.
Senior Advisor on Strategy & Innovation. Meg dreams up new programs and activities that will benefit farmers and rural communities, and helps other staff members keep their projects on the cutting edge. She has worked professionally as an educator and evaluator, and as a community development extension specialist with the U.S Peace Corps in northern Thailand. Meg works part-time for MDA and is also a certified organic dairy farmer with a 70-cow herd in Le Sueur County. Meg joined the MDA staff in 2002.