St. Paul, MN — Farmers and Minnesota nonprofit and educational organizations focused on testing new ideas in sustainable agriculture are encouraged to apply for a Sustainable Agriculture and Demonstration (SustAg) Grant by 4 p.m. Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
The MDA’s SustAg Program is part of the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program, which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools, and more throughout the state of Minnesota. The AGRI Program exists to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors.
SustAg grant projects explore new ways of conserving natural resources, enhancing farm profitability, increasing energy efficiency, and improving life in rural communities.
Applications from farmers receive priority, but the program also funds Minnesota nonprofit and educational organizations if Minnesota farmers are meaningfully involved in the project. Projects last two to three years and may be funded at up to $50,000, with applicants providing a dollar-for-dollar match on amounts above $25,000. A total of $200,000 is available this year.
SustAg grants have funded a wide range of projects; such as exploring farm diversification, cover crops and crop rotation, conservation tillage, and input reduction strategies and alternative energies like wind, methane, and biomass.
“We wanted to be able to test out production methods for pastured livestock that could benefit our farm, and other small farmers in our area. If we hadn't received the grant, we would not have been able to try these new methods out and learn what works for our context,” said past recipient Randy Kleinman of Seelye Brook Farms.
Projects are published annually in the MDA’s Greenbook, which provides a summary of each project along with results, management tips, and other resources.
For more information and to apply, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/sustagdemogrant.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications