FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 9, 2016
MDA awards $2 million in Livestock Investment Grants
More than 1,000 jobs created as result of investment and improvements to Minnesota farms
Deadline to apply for next round of Livestock Investment Grants is December 16
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has awarded $2 million in Livestock Investment Grants to 104 Minnesota livestock farmers in Fiscal Year 2016. Grantees will use the funds to make purchases or improvements to their livestock operations.
Minnesota’s livestock sector is valued at nearly $9 billion, making Minnesota the 8th largest livestock-producing state in the nation. An estimated 989 construction jobs and 256 full- or part-time jobs on Minnesota farms were created as a result of this round of Livestock Investment Grants.
“Minnesota has some of the strongest livestock producers in the country, made up of large and small family operations, and all of them add value to Minnesota's economy. The state of Minnesota has been a strong partner with these producers,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “The Livestock Investment Grant initiative has helped more than 600 livestock farmers expand and diversify their businesses. We are proud of this work, and will build on these successes, to create more opportunities for Minnesota farmers.”
Jeff Statz of Richmond used grant funds to remodel his current dairy barn and install automatic calf feeders to increase efficiency, according to MDA Grants Coordinator David Weinand.
“The calves are now housed in a remodeled dairy barn with improved ventilation and lighting,” said Weinand. “What’s also great about this project is that it will support the transition of the ownership of this family dairy to Statz and his brother from their parents.”
Farmers wishing to apply for the next round of Livestock Investment Grants may submit online applications through December 16, 2016.
The Livestock Investment Grant program is one of several grants funded through the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program established by the Minnesota Legislature to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries. For more on the AGRI Program, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/agri.
CONTACT: Alauna Yust, MDA Communications