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

Applicant Eligibility

Q: I am in a partnership with another farmer who has received the $50,000 lifetime maximum. Am I eligible for the grant as an individual?

A: No, the $50,000 maximum for livestock operations applies at the entity level for partnerships, S corporations, C corporations, trusts, estates, and individuals. Married couples are also limited to $50,000 for their livestock operation.

Q: I raise animals that are not listed as eligible species. Is my operation eligible?

A: No, the Livestock Investment Grant Statute is very specific on the species eligible. The list of "Livestock" includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervidae (deer), ratitae (flightless birds including emu), and llamas.

Q: I do not raise livestock, but my business works with livestock and livestock producers (e.g., veterinary clinic, feed production, animal rescue, etc.) Is my operation eligible?

A: No, the Livestock Investment Grant is designated for operations that are directly involved in livestock production.

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Project Eligibility

Q: What is the date range when expenses are eligible?

A: For the Spring 2022 Round, expenses must incur and be paid for between January 1, 2022, to December 31st, 2023. With approval from the program administrator, the project may extend up to 3 years.

Q: If I have previously been awarded a grant, can I apply for the next phase of my project?

A: Yes, but you cannot claim the same expenses on both grants.

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Match

Q. Is there a match requirement? Can I use grant funds from another Minnesota state agency as part of my matching funds?

A. You are required to show that you have 90% of the total grant project costs available to use as matching funds. You also cannot use funds from the State of Minnesota as the match for the grant.

Q: If I get a federal grant to cover some of the expenses, am I still eligible for the Livestock Investment Grant?

A: Yes, you are still eligible.

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Application

Q: What is the difference between an emerging farmer and a young beginning farmer?

A: An emerging farmer includes historically underserved communities, such as, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, immigrants, women, veterans, persons with disabilities, young and beginning farmers, LGBTQ+ farmers, and others. A beginning farmer, for this application, has farmed five years or less. We do not have a definition for young farmers. Based on these definitions a person who is a young/beginning farmer would also be considered an emerging farmer.

Q: What are the odds that my application will be funded?

A: The grants are competitively awarded so it depends on the number and quality of applications. During recent rounds, we’ve funded approximately half of the proposals we receive.

Q: Any tips to getting my application funded?

A: The applications will be scored based on the scoring criteria in the Request for Proposals. Maximize your points by clearly answering the application questions.

Q. Where can I get help with writing the grant application?

A: The University of Minnesota Extension and other agricultural groups have resources to help with grant writing. Some applicants have worked with teachers or small business development centers to help them complete their application.

Q: What advice have previous Livestock Investment Grantees given for future applicants?

A: In the last survey we conducted, previous grantees stated the following:

  • Do not be afraid to apply! This grant can really make a difference as to whether not a project succeeds or fails, especially if you are just starting out.
  • Make sure you understand the time windows as far as when grant expenses are eligible for reimbursement. If you have any issues, contact the Grants Coordinator right away.
  • It’s a great deal! Make sure to keep your paperwork organized.
  • The application process helps to solidify your plan. Take your time, set clear goals, and make a clear plan. Detail what your goals and plans are throughout your application.

Q: If I’ve applied for the grant in a previous year, is my application still live for the following rounds?

A: No, applications are not carried forward to the next round as there may be year-to-year differences in the application. You will need to reapply each round to be considered for a grant award.

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Award Process

Q: When will I be notified if I am awarded the grant?

A: May 2022 (after the application period closes and review of the applications is complete).

Q: If awarded, what do I need to do to receive the funds?

A: You will need to provide detailed invoices and proof of payments to receive your payment. For the Spring 2022 round, the invoices must be received and paid by the grantee between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023, as specified in the contract signed by the grantee. The grant administrator sends the grantees the "MDA Reimbursement Guide" to explain the reimbursement process.

Q: Do we need to wait to receive notification of funding before incurring eligible expenses? If so, what would this timing be?

A: No, you do not need to wait to hear that your grant application has been funded but remember that eligible expenses must be incurred and paid for between the dates listed in the grant contract agreement. Be aware that it is also possible that you may not be awarded a grant because the grant is competitively funded. Any work you do before a grant contract agreement is fully executed is at your own risk.

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