These grants encourage business planning and modernization activities and other improvements on Minnesota dairy farms. They will also help you pay for stray voltage testing.


Grants cover 50 percent of the cost to hire a qualified, independent third party to create a business plan for a dairy operation and/or test for stray voltage. Dairy producers have used these grants to evaluate the feasibility of expanding a dairy, plan environmental upgrades, and create strategies to transfer the operation to a family member or other new owner.

Who is eligible?

Existing and beginning Minnesota dairy farmers

How much is available?

The grant pays 50 percent of the cost to develop a business plan, up to $5,000. You must pay the other 50 percent.

Ineligible costs:

Services that are not directly related to the improvement and continuance of the dairy farm, such as:

  • Nutrition consulting
  • Retirement and investment planning
  • Tax planning and tax return preparation
  • Intergenerational transfer planning that discontinues the dairy enterprise
  • Loan origination or documentation fees
  • Chattel real estate appraisal
  • Crop consulting
  • Nutrient management planning – except as required in the business plan
  • Veterinary/herd health consulting
  • The cost to complete a dairy business planning grant application

How to apply:

  1. Contact the grant administrator to find out if your project is eligible.
  2. Complete and submit the Dairy Business Planning Grant Application (PDF). You can either fill out the application form on your computer or you can print it out and complete it by hand.
  3. Make sure your proposal contains these key components of a business plan (see Attachment C for an example outline):
    1. Executive Summary
    2. Short and Long Term Goals and Objectives
    3. Management Analysis
    4. Current and Historical Financial Information/Production Information
    5. Analysis of Proposed Business Changes
  4. An MDA review committee will review your project and determine if it should be funded.


Applications are funded on a first come, first served basis.