* Deadline Extended to October 31, 2020 *
The Safe on the Farm Direct Marketing Cost-Share Program provides financial assistance to Minnesota U-Pick Operations, On-Farm Markets, and Community Support Agriculture (CSA) Farms to purchase supplies and equipment to prepare for safe sales on their farms and pick-up sites during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for this program comes from the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program.
To be eligible, you must be a current or new Minnesota Grown member. The annual license cost is $20 and allows you to use the Minnesota Grown label. Apply to become a Minnesota Grown member.
We encourage pick-your-own berry farms, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, CSA farms, and on-site farm stands to apply.
With this program, you may purchase equipment or supplies that will help you follow the Guidance for Minnesota U-Pick Operations and On-Farm Markets. Examples of eligible supplies and equipment include:
- Customer handwashing stations (water catching buckets, water dispensers, paper towels, soap etc.)
- Personal Protective Equipment (cloth face coverings, face shields, gloves, etc.).
- Tables to create space between workers and customers at counters, registers, or display areas.
- Rope, fencing, tape, chalk, or flags to create walkways and borders to identify designated picking areas or a specific flow of traffic through your fields and gathering areas.
- Signage to communicate proper handwashing, social distancing, and safety instructions.
- Sanitation supplies to clean “high touch” surfaces.
If you have other ideas, contact Emily Mehr for approval before you make a purchase.
If you are a farm that meets the applicant eligibility criteria, you may be reimbursed up to $250 for eligible expenses.
Payments are limited to the actual amount spent to purchase eligible items. These purchases must be documented with copies of receipts or paid invoices that you include with your application. Payments are made approximately two to four weeks after your application is approved. The maximum amount to be reimbursed to each farm is $250.
The MDA anticipates making approximately $20,000 available for this program. Contact Emily Mehr if you have questions about the amount of funding remaining before submitting your application materials.
(As of August 24, 2020, we estimate that $13,000 is still available.)
Email application materials to Emily Mehr. We will accept applications until October 31, 2020, or until all funds are gone, whichever is first.
We will not add your application to the list for funding until all parts of the application are received. We will only accept one application per farm.
Read the application (PDF) for details on eligibility and requirements. If you need this information in an alternative format, please contact the program administrator.