The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will award up to $2.5 million through the competitive Value Added Grant Program. The goal of the Value Added Grant Program is to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets, increasing market access, and increasing food safety of value-added products. Applications for this Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Grant are due March 9, 2018.
“We welcome applications from a variety of organizations,” said MDA Grants Specialist Julianne LaClair. “Farmers or businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and local government agencies can apply, as long as their projects meet our criteria and help increase the sales of Minnesota’s agricultural products. Our number one priority is to help farmers sell more of their products.”
Grant funds reimburse up to 25 percent of the total project cost. Funding under this round will come at two levels. Level 1 projects will have a maximum award of $200,000 and a minimum of $1,000. Level 2 projects will have a maximum award of $1,000,000 and a minimum of $200,001. Applicants may only apply to one level.
Grants may be used for equipment purchases or physical improvements that will:
- start, expand, or update livestock product processing businesses,
- start, upgrade, or modernize value-added businesses,
- increase the use and processing of Minnesota agricultural products,
- increase food safety, and
- increase farmers’ processing and aggregating capacity to sell to schools, hospitals, or other institutions.
Level 2 projects must also provide significant economic impact to a region of the state.
Applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 9. Applications are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/valueaddedgrant.aspx and may be submitted online, by mail, or in-person.
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications