September 9, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released the 2020 edition of its Greenbook publication, featuring Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant (SustAg) projects from the last three years.

Projects explore sustainable agriculture practices and systems that could make farming more profitable, resource efficient, and personally satisfying. The program has granted more than $4.3 million to Minnesota farmers over its 30-year history.

“The projects presented here are great examples of the innovative ideas Minnesota farmers and researchers are exploring and testing to make farming in Minnesota more productive and sustainable, and I’ve been a long-time supporter of them,” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said.

All projects take place on Minnesota farms and are summarized in the annual Greenbook, now available at www.mda.state.mn.us/greenbook or by contacting Alison Fish at alison.fish@state.mn.us.

The MDA has also awarded new SustAg grants totaling $160,144 to eight farmers and researchers across Minnesota. Summaries of these projects are included the new Greenbook. Future editions of the Greenbook will feature results from their projects.

Projects, which last two to three years, are located in all regions of the state and involve several innovative topics that include cover cropping, soil fertility, fruits and vegetables, alternative markets or specialty crops, livestock, and energy.  

The 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.

Farmers and Minnesota nonprofit and educational organizations are encouraged to apply for the current round of SustAg grants by 4 p.m. Thursday, December 10, 2020. For more information and to apply, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/sustagdemogrant.

FY 2020 AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Recipients

Name

Project

Amount

County

Little Berry Hill Farm (Aaron Willis)

Trialing High Tunnel Raspberries to increase yield and reduce Spotted Wing Drosophila pressure.

$17,535

Dakota

MN Native Landscapes (Jake Janski)

Determining effects of prescribed sheep grazing on plant diversity in native pollinator habitat

$25,137

Wright

Pluck Flower Farm (Rachel Brann)

Exploring Hull Less Seed Pumpkins as a Specialty Crop

$11,158

Mille Lacs

Radicle Heart Farm (Heidi Eger)

Control of Wild Parsnip through Rotational Sheep Grazing

$20,045

Washington

Sweetland Orchard (Gretchen Perbix)

Growing and Evaluating Perry and Dessert Pears on a Tall Spindle System

$22,594

Rice

Twin Cities Berry Company (Andrew Petran)

Expanding the Effectiveness of Non-Chemical Pest Control in Organic Strawberry Production

$23,236

Dakota

University of Minnesota (Dean Current)

Diversity Agriculture and Its Feasibility in Minnesota: Sustainable Practices and Marketing

$25,000

Hennepin, Ramsey

University of Minnesota (Natalie Hoidal)

Non-chemical Methods for Managing Colorado Potato Beetle: Feasibility for Diversified Farms

$15,439

Chisago

 

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Media Contact

Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications
651-201-6629
larry.schumacher@state.mn.us