Here are some common questions about the AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please email them to MDA.AGRIGrants@state.mn.us with "AGRI Urban Agriculture Questions" in the subject line. We will post all questions and answers on this page.

General Questions

This is a one-time award. Successful grantees are eligible to re-apply during future rounds.

The minimum grant award is $2,500 and the maximum grant award is $50,000.

There are funds allocated for two rounds of the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program during this biennium.

Similar to all of the AGRI grant programs, we expect this round of proposals to be very competitive due to community interest and the amount of funding available.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture does not have a specific definition of “urban agriculture community development.” The language of “urban youth agricultural education and urban agriculture community development” was provided in the statute that legislated this grant program. It is up to the applicant to determine if they feel their project meets that criteria.

It is up to the applicant to determine what they define as a Community Partner.

Projects serving tribal communities located within the boundaries of federally recognized tribal land are eligible regardless of population size – and are not required to meet the additional eligibility requirements of having at least 10% of the population living at or below 200% of the poverty line.

The AGRI Urban Agriculture grant reimburses 100% of approved purchases with a maximum award of $50,000.

Extension requests are only available to projects that have been awarded funding.

Project & Location Eligibility

No, you are allowed to continue receiving your in-kind donations and still be eligible to apply for this grant program. However, you cannot request reimbursement for any of the goods or services you receive as in-kind donations.

There is no direct question in the RFP that will allow you to indicate that your project is located in a city with a population over 10,000 and also meets the smaller population income and/or cultural requirements. If you would like to indicate that your project will impact the underserved populations as addressed in the smaller population requirements, you may do so in the application’s narrative questions.

Yes, multiple partner schools are allowed to write your organization into their AGRI grant proposals as long as those schools are located in or serve eligible locations as defined by the RFP.

You would not be eligible to receive funds to start a retail food business through the 2021 AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program.

There is no issue with applying for multiple grant programs through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Yes, this project would be eligible to apply for the 2021 AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program as long as it was located in or served children located in eligible locations as defined by the RFP.

While not required, if you were to submit two separate proposals for urban youth agricultural education and urban agriculture community development, the sum of the grant requests from your organization and/or for your project could not exceed the annual maximum award of $50,000.

No, an event that draws an audience of 10,000 + people does not meet the eligibility requirements for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program. In order to qualify for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program applicants must be located in or serve communities that meet one of the following criteria:

  • Cities with a population over 10,000, or
  • Cities with a population between 5,000 and 10,000, where at least of ten percent of the population is living at or below 200 percent of the poverty line and/or at least ten percent of the population is comprised of people of color and/or Native American tribal community members as determined by the United States Census Bureau, or
  • Located within the boundaries of federally recognized tribal land and serving tribal community members, regardless of population size.

Yes, multiple cities could collaborate on a project for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program. Each of the cities will still be required to meet one of the following location requirements for this grant program:

  • Cities with a population over 10,000, or
  • Cities with a population between 5,000 and 10,000, where at least of ten percent of the population is living at or below 200 percent of the poverty line and/or at least ten percent of the population is comprised of people of color and/or Native American tribal community members as determined by the United States Census Bureau, or
  • Located within the boundaries of federally recognized tribal land and serving tribal community members, regardless of population size.

You should select the district in which your organization is located and the districts in which your organization will provide services through your grant proposal.

So long as the project meets the grant’s location requirements and supports urban youth agriculture education and/or urban agriculture community development it is eligible.

This project would not be eligible for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program.

Eligible Items & Expenses

Yes, you are able to partner with organizations who have access to land. Grant funds would be unable to reimburse the organization for the use or rental of the land.

Yes. The production and distribution of urban agriculture focused videos would be eligible for the grant. The videos must be focused on furthering urban youth agricultural education or urban agriculture community development in eligible areas as defined in the RFP.

There are no grant funds available from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture that would allow for the purchasing of livestock.

There are no grant funds available from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture that would allow for the purchasing of feed for livestock.

Food and lunch costs are an eligible expense for this grant as long as they are reasonable and directly related to the project.

Yes, equipment such as gardening tools, gardening supplies, and small gardening equipment are eligible expenses for this grant program.

Yes, staff time for project activities is an eligible expense for this grant program.

Yes, consultant funds are an eligible expense for this grant program.

While not outlined as an ineligible expense if you are planning to apply for funding to reimburse staff for their work you will need to clearly demonstrate your organization’s capacity to sustain the project after the grant funding has concluded. Funds to support weekly classes for the community would be eligible as long as the classes offered directly support the goals of the grant program.

General planning work such as schematic designs and quote gathering do not count as starting your project. The MDA considers your project started when you begin to make purchases for which you will request reimbursement. Any costs incurred prior to the notification of award and the signing of the contract are not eligible for reimbursement.

A project focused on beekeeping would be eligible for an AGRI Urban Agriculture grant so long as it meets the other program requirements. Keep in mind all project expenses must directly support the goals of promoting urban youth agricultural education and/or urban agriculture community development.

The priorities of the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program are the support of urban youth agriculture education and/or urban agriculture community development. It is up to the grant review committee to determine what proposals demonstrate those priorities.

All expenses must directly support the program’s goals of promoting urban youth agriculture education and/or urban agriculture community development.

All expenses must directly support the program’s goals of promoting urban youth agriculture education and/or urban agriculture community development.

Fundraising including financial campaigns, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions regardless of the purpose for which the funds will be used is an ineligible expense for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program.

Administrative costs would be considered to be indirect costs which are listed as an ineligible expense for this grant program. All project expenses must directly support the goals of promoting urban youth agricultural education and/or urban agriculture community development.

Budget

The AGRI Urban Agriculture grant review committee will evaluate and recommend which proposals will be awarded full funding. It will then be up to the review committee to recommend if any proposals will be awarded partial funding. The Commissioner of Agriculture will have the final say on how funds are awarded for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant program.

You are not required to get bids if your estimated costs are under $10,000. Bids are only required if you are expecting any materials or services to cost more than $10,000.

If you are unable to find your materials at the organizations on the targeted vendor lists you are allowed to seek bids from other organizations. We just ask that you avoid vendors who are on the suspended/debarred list in Minnesota.

In your budget, only include the projected expenses that will be eligible for this grant. In the Investment section, you might want to talk about those ineligible expenses to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to the project. It will be up to the review committee and the Commissioner of Agriculture to determine if they would like to fund proposals partially or in their entirety.

We understand that the pricing of some items will change between the time of application and the time of purchase. You will be reimbursed based on the cost of the items at the time of purchase, within reason. You will not be eligible for reimbursement beyond your total grant award which will be determined based on the budget you submit with your proposal.

Yes, you are allowed to request grant funds to support an eligible project no matter the total cost of the project.

The AGRI Urban Agriculture Grant does not have an in-kind or cash match requirement. 

Timeline

Expenses may not be incurred until after a grant contract has been fully executed. Once the grant contract has been fully executed the grantee will receive their approved award advance, if applicable. The remaining award balance will be reimbursed after the project is completed to the State’s satisfaction.

All expenses must be incurred and paid for by June 30, 2022; applicants may request an extension until December 31, 2022 for approval by the State.

Applicants, both successful and unsuccessful, will be notified in writing approximately six to eight weeks following the proposal deadline.

Letters of Support

You can include as many letters of support as you so choose. To upload more than three letters of support we recommend combining the documents into one file such as a pdf and uploading it to your application.

The RFP does not prescribe any specific documentation to confirm an agreement between a property owner and an applicant. However, a letter of support from the property owner(s) would enhance the quality of the proposal.

At least one letter of support is required to submit a proposal for the AGRI Urban Agriculture grant. Applicants with multiple letters of support are more than welcome to include additional letters along with their proposal. The online application has room for three documents under the Letters of Support heading. If you have more than three letters of support we recommend combining multiple letters into one document such as a pdf before uploading.