Here are some common questions about the AGRI Livestock Investment Grant. If you have questions that are not addressed here, email them to MDA.AGRIGrants@state.mn.us with "AGRI Livestock Investment Grant" in the subject line. We will post all questions and answers on this page.
Q: I farm with multiple family members, who should apply?
A: Only one principal operator per farm may apply. A principal operator is the person primarily responsible for the day-to-day operation of the farm. The principal operator could be an owner, hired manager, cash tenant, share tenant, or partner.
Q: If multiple farms are owned by one LLC can an application be submitted for each farm?
A: It is dependent on the business structure. Applications may only be submitted by the principal operator of the farm and each principal operator may only apply on behalf one farm. In the case of farms owned directly or indirectly by multiple individuals, the application should come from the principal operator. If each site has a different principal operator, they can apply on behalf of each farm but may asked to prioritize their applications.
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.
Q: What is the date range when expenses are eligible? Can I purchase something yet this fall?
A: No, purchases cannot be made until a grant contract agreement is signed. For Fiscal Year 2023, we expect to have contracts complete by early 2023. With approval from the program administrator, the project may be extended 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.
Q: I would like to apply for a loader tractor that I primarily use to haul feed. Is a loader tractor eligible?
A: No, a tractor is considered general use equipment and is not eligible for the grant. Attachments for the tractor that are specific to feed or manure handling are eligible.
Q. Is there a match requirement?
A. This is a reimbursement grant for up to 10% of the total project cost. The maximum grant award is $25,000. You must provide documentation showing payment for the full cost of the project to receive the awarded reimbursement amount. Sources of funding for your portion may include cash, loans, other grants, and liquid capital assets dedicated to the project.
Q. Can I use grant funds from another Minnesota state agency as part of my matching funds?
A. No, state grant funds cannot be used for your portion of the total project cost, but non-forgivable loans from the state may be used.
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.
Q: What is the difference between an emerging farmer and a young beginning farmer?
A: An emerging farmer includes historically underserved communities, including 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 ten 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: How do I become a beginning farmer?
A: For this application there is no process to becoming a beginning farmer. A beginning farmer has been farming for ten years or less.
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: 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 program rules. You will need to reapply each round to be considered for a grant award.
Q: When will I be notified if I am awarded the grant?
A: Spring 2023 (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: First, you will acknowledge that you are accepting the grant award. This includes submitting an IRS Form W-9 to the grant administrator and approving the budget for your project. Next, you will sign a grant contract agreement. After the grant contract agreement is fully signed by all parties, you can begin work on the project. You will need to provide detailed invoices and proof of payments to receive your grant reimbursement.