Applications for the Developing Markets for Continuous Living Cover Crops are closed. This page will be updated if future funding becomes available.  

The Request for Proposals for this one-time competitive grant opportunity opened Monday, March 13, 2023 and closed April 23, 2023. Projects will start May 2023 and end by May 2025. 

In 2022, 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 (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.

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.

Applicants were 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

The MDA anticipates awarding approximately $420,000 using a competitive review process. The maximum award is $50,000, and the minimum award is $10,000.


The MDA held two stakeholder meetings to share information and request input on program development. Stakeholders included individuals, businesses, and organizations that work on CLC crops and cropping systems. The following types of stakeholders were encouraged to attend a remote meeting and/or complete an online stakeholder comment form.

  • Small and medium-sized businesses
  • Prospective CLC-focused entrepreneurs
  • Rural economic development entities
  • Farm advocacy groups
  • Environmental advocacy groups
  • Industry coalitions
  • University of Minnesota researchers focused on CLC
  • Community partners
  • Rural water interests
  • Tribes and urban American Indian Communities

Remote meetings were held on November 20, 2022, and December 9, 2022. 

Collage includes five photos. 1. Elderberries and elderberry wine; 2. Hazelnuts; 3. Chicken near an apple tree; 4. Camelina flower, seeds, and oil; 5. Machine harvesting Kernza.
These photos represent some of the continuous living cover crops and practices. Top left to right: elderberry, hazelnut, and Kernza®. Bottom left to right: poultry silvopasture and camelina.

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund logo
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).