The AGRI Value-Added Feasibility Study Grant (VAFSG) helps individuals and businesses determine the feasibility of value-added business ventures that will enhance the value of Minnesota agricultural products.

Applicant Eligibility

All Minnesota residents or businesses can apply for a feasibility study for a new business or to expand or diversify an existing business. This includes farmers and farmer networks, agricultural cooperatives and businesses, and others. Applicants and their subcontractors must be in compliance with Minnesota tax and environmental regulatory requirements to be eligible for funding. Non-Minnesota residents and businesses and MDA employees are not eligible for this grant.

Amounts Available

The MDA will reimburse up to 50 percent of the costs for a third party consultant to conduct a feasibility study of agricultural value-added business ventures. The maximum award is $35,000.

Award Process

  1. Submit a Letter of Interest using our online application system. In the letter, provide a brief summary of the proposed value-added, expansion, or diversification project.
  2. A review committee will evaluate Letters of Interest and staff will notify applicants about the results. Applicants can request reviewer comments and suggestions for improvement if their application is denied.
  3. Approved applicants can take advantage of free consulting services from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) to further define the goals and develop the scope of work for the study and identify third party consultants to conduct the study. If applicants choose not to work with AURI, they must identify a qualified third party consultant who will generate a quote for the study (must include scope of work, economic viability, marketing plans, infrastructure needs, risk assessment, permitting requirement assessment, financing options, feedstock availability, etc.)
  4. Approved applicants submit a scope of work, quote of study completion, statement of consultant qualifications, and any other relevant documentation to the MDA.
  5. The MDA reviews final submissions and issues contracts after granting final approval.

This program has a rolling deadline. We review applications and award funds on a first-come, first-served basis. Read the full Request for Letters of Interest (RFP) and apply online. If you need the application in a different format, contact the program administrator.