Minnesota produce farmers who improve on-farm food safety systems may be eligible to reimburse their expenses through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) 2023 Produce Safety Mini-Grant, which is now accepting applications.
The Produce Safety Mini-Grant will distribute a total of approximately $26,400. Awardees will receive up to $800 per farm. No matching funds are required.
Applicants must be a Minnesota produce farmer that sells one or more of the following crops to be eligible: leafy greens, apples, berries, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, green beans, herbs, melons, microgreens, mushrooms, onions, peppers, sprouts, summer squash/zucchini, or tomatoes.
Growers may be reimbursed for past expenses occurring January 1, 2022 – March 25, 2023, and future expenses taking place March 26, 2023 – July 14, 2023.
Examples of eligible expenses include:
- Supplies to build or purchase a portable handwashing station
- Harvest totes or collection tools
- Water testing for generic E. coli
- Consultation fees for developing an on-farm food safety plan
- Waxed boxes and market containers
Additional information and the online application are available on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/minigrant.
Farmers can contact the MDA Produce Safety Program at 651-539-3648 to request a paper copy. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on March 25, 2023.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications