Continuous living cover crops and cropping systems for purposes of this grant refer to agroforestry, perennial biomass, perennial forage, perennial grains, and winter-annual cereal grains and oilseeds that have market value as harvested or grazed commodities.
Request for Proposals
In 2023, the Minnesota Legislature provided funding to the MDA for grants to organizations in Minnesota to develop enterprises, supply chains, and markets for continuous-living cover crops and cropping systems in the early stages of commercial development.
The first of two Requests for Proposals (RFP) for this competitive grant opened Monday, September 11, 2023 and closed October 2, 2023. The second RFP will be announced in 2024.
Applicants are required to:
- Be an organization in Minnesota (including a company, government, tribe, urban American Indian Community, partnership, and any type of civil or political association of people, an individual is not considered an organization)
- Focus on continuous living cover crops and cropping systems
- Be located in Minnesota
The MDA anticipates awarding approximately $250,000 using a competitive review process. The minimum award is $10,000 and the maximum award is $50,000.
- Questions due no later than 4:30 pm Central Time September 25, 2023
- Applications due no later than 4:30 pm Central Time October 2, 2023
- Committee begins review of applications October 4, 2023
- Committee recommendations submitted to commissioner for review October 9, 2023
- Selected grantees notified; grant agreement negotiations begin October 16, 2023. Grant contracts are currently in process, once the contracts have been signed and executed a list of awarded grantees will be posted.
CLC crops have been shown to enhance water and soil quality, sequester carbon, build soil health, and provide greater biodiversity and pollinator habitat. Significant environmental benefits of these crops will result from widespread production, which requires robust value chains and markets.
The goal is to provide grants to CLC crops and cropping systems value chain enterprises for equipment infrastructure and business and market development. For example, this could include customized equipment to harvest the crop, clean and store seeds, and process crops for food products. The intended outcome is supply chain and market development that can increase CLC crops and cropping systems on agricultural lands in Minnesota.
In 2022, the Minnesota Legislature provided funding to the MDA through the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for grants to organizations in Minnesota to develop enterprises, supply chains, and markets for continuous living cover (CLC) crops and cropping systems in the early stage of commercial development. This includes, but not limited to, regenerative poultry silvopasture systems, Kernza® perennial grain, winter camelina, and elderberry.
The Request for Proposals for this one-time competitive grant opportunity opened Monday, March 13, 2023 and closed April 23, 2023.
|Dawson Drug & Gifts
|Purchase a freeze dryer to expand the market of continuous living cover crops, primarily fruit.
|Midwest Elderberry Cooperative
|Design, build, and test a continuous flow prototype elderberry destemmer that can be linked to a wash, dry, and freeze process conveyor line.
|Regenerative Agriculture Alliance
|Purchase a mechanical harvester and two de-husking units for two hazelnut grower networks in Minnesota to hasten ongoing development of supply chains.
|Nine Hazels Farm
|Improve greenhouse operation to produce hybrid hazelnut seedling plugs for sale.
|Build team capacity and develop standard operating procedures to operationalize a processing plant dedicated to the production of CLC products.
|Perennial Promise Growers Cooperative
|Develop capacities to and systems required to market Kernza.
Unused funds may be included in a second RFP in the spring of 2024.
Funding for the program was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).
For the purposes of this grant “continuous living cover crops and cropping systems” refer to agroforestry, perennial biomass, perennial forage, perennial grains, and winter-annual cereal grains and oilseeds that have market value as harvested or grazed commodities.