The AGRI Value-Added Grant helps Minnesota processors add value to Minnesota agricultural products by helping underwrite equipment purchases and physical improvements.

Small business owner standing next to meat cooler

Applicant Eligibility

Organizations eligible for the AGRI Value-Added Grants include:

  • individuals and farmers,
  • businesses,
  • agricultural cooperatives, and
  • local government entities.

All applicants must be in good standing, have no back taxes or defaults on Minnesota-backed financing, demonstrate acceptable performance on past Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) grants, and be compliant with current state regulations.

Project Eligibility

Grants can be used for equipment purchases or physical improvements. They are intended to support businesses that will:

  • increase the use and processing of Minnesota agricultural products (required for all grants);
  • start, expand, or update livestock product processing businesses;
  • purchase equipment to start, upgrade, or modernize value-added businesses;
  • purchase equipment or facility improvement to increase food safety (e.g., implementing a food safety plan); and
  • increase farmers’ processing and aggregating capacity so they can sell to schools, hospitals, or other institutions.

Project Levels

We offer two rounds of AGRI Value-Added Grants each year.

For Round 1, grants are funded at Level 1 only.

For Round 2, grants are funded at Levels 1 and 2. Applicants may apply for only one level.

Level 1

Project applications with the following elements will receive priority points:

  • meat processing,
  • marketing to schools (or other institutions) component,
  • a food safety plan or requirement,
  • minority- or veteran-owned businesses, or
  • projects serving communities of color or Native American Tribal communities.

Level 2 (Round 2 only)

Project applications with the following elements will receive priority points:

  • a feasibility study has been conducted,
  • the percentage of Minnesota grown ingredients/inputs is at or above 50 percent,
  • minority- or veteran-owned businesses, or
  • projects that serve communities of color or Native American Tribal communities.

Level 2 Projects are subject to Prevailing Wage requirements.

Amounts Available

We expect to award a total of $3.5 million in Fiscal Year 2019.

Level 1 projects:
$1 million available in both Rounds 1 and 2. Applicants can request up to 25% of total project costs.
Minimum award: $1,000. Maximum award: $200,000.

Level 2 projects:
$1.5 million available in Round 2 only. Applicants can request up to 25% of total project costs.
Minimum award: $200,001. Maximum award: $1 million.

Applying

Round 1 applications are due no later than 4:00 pm CST on Friday, October 5, 2018.

The Round 2 application period will be open from January 2019 to March 2019.

Read the full Request for Proposals and apply online. If you need the application in an alternative format, please contact the program administrator. You can also view an example of a completed AGRI-Value Added application.