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


Grants cover 50% of the cost to hire a qualified, independent third party to create a business plan for a dairy operation 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% of the cost to develop a business plan, up to $5,000. You must pay the other 50%.

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) or apply online.
  3. The application asks for the following information:
    • Farm summary
    • Goal of business plan
    • Professional services you will be using to develop business plan.
    • Budget of project
  4. An MDA review committee will look over your project and decide if it should be funded.


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