The Preparing for Extreme Weather Grant Program, also referred to as the Prepare Grant, helps Minnesota livestock and specialty crop producers buy and install supplies or equipment that will help make their operations more resilient to extreme weather, including:

  • Drought
  • Flooding
  • Hail
  • Severe weather events like storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds

A total of $500,000 is available for this one-time program. We expect to award 50 to 75 grants.

  • You may request between $500 and $10,000 per farming operation; a 50% cash match is required.


Minnesota livestock and specialty crop producers may apply. Only one application per operation will be accepted. For the purposes of this grant,

  • Livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervids (deer, elk), ratites (flightless birds including emu), and llamas.
  • Specialty crops include annual and perennial fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and ornamental plants grown for sale. See USDA’s list of Specialty Crops for examples.

Project examples:

For livestock operations

  • Water tanks and pads
  • Pipelines
  • Water wagons/trailers
  • Wells (new improvements, fixes, replacement pumps)
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Livestock pond digging or dredging
  • Portable pasture fencing supplies (e.g. polywire, electric netting, t-posts and/or step-in posts, reels, solar chargers, etc.)
  • Fans
  • Misters
  • Livestock shade systems
  • Windbreaks
  • Lane improvements

For specialty crop operations

  • Water tanks
  • Pipeline
  • Water wagons/trailers
  • Wells (new improvements, fixes, replacement pumps)
  • Irrigation equipment (including drip irrigation)
  • Hoses
  • Soil moisture sensors
  • Nozzles
  • Rain barrels
  • Mulch
  • Cover crops
  • Worker safety equipment (sun shades, water stations, etc.)
  • Hail netting

Payments are issued on a reimbursement basis and not in advance. All purchases for eligible items must be made after grant contract agreements are fully signed. We expect this to happen in July 2024.


The application period is open until 4 p.m. Central Time (CT) on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

  • Carefully read the full Prepare Grant Request for Proposals (RFP) (PDF) for eligibility and requirements.
    • If you have trouble opening the PDF, try another browser - Edge and Chrome work well.
  • We encourage you to apply online.
    • If you are a new user, you will need to create an account.
    • Once you are logged in, select “Preparing for Extreme Weather – FY24”.

Contact us if you need this information in an alternative format.

Review process

A review committee evaluates all eligible applications based on the Application Scoring Sheet in the RFP. The commissioner of agriculture considers the committee’s recommendations and makes award decisions. The process may consider geographic distribution, type of operation, applicant’s history as a previous grantee, and capacity to perform the work.

Prepare Grant Q&A

Here are some common questions about the AGRI Prepare Grant.

If you have questions that are not addressed here or in the RFP, email them to with "Prepare Grant" in the subject line. We will post all questions and answers on this page.

  • I lease a portion of my land to another farmer. Can we both apply?
    • Yes, if the other farmer is a different entity with separate management and cash flow.
  • Are nonprofits eligible to apply for the Prepare Grant?
    • Nonprofits are eligible if they are registered with the Minnesota Attorney General; Minnesota Secretary of State; and either certified with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as a corporate farm or exempt from the corporate farm law.
  • Multiple farmers utilize our organization’s land. Can our organization apply for our farmers?
    • Yes, if your organization is authorized to farm, you could apply but would be limited to $10,000 for your organization.
  • I raise animals that are not listed as eligible livestock type. Is my operation eligible?
    • No, the Prepare program is specific on the types of livestock that are eligible. "Livestock" includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervids (elk, deer), ratites (flightless birds including emu), and llamas.
  • I do not raise livestock, but my business works with livestock and livestock producers (e.g., veterinary clinic, feed production, animal rescue, etc.) Is my operation eligible?
    • No, the Prepare Grant is designated for operations that are directly involved in livestock production.
  • I do not currently have livestock or specialty crops. Am I eligible to apply?
    • No, the grant is available to farmers that produce and sell at least $1,000 of livestock or specialty crop products annually at the time they apply.
  • I produce corn and soybeans. Can I apply for this grant?
    • No, the grant is open only to farmers that raise and sell livestock or specialty crops such as annual and perennial fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and ornamental plants. See USDA’s list of Specialty Crops for examples.
  • I produce Christmas trees and livestock. I would like to do a project related to my Christmas trees but at the time of the application I do not generate income from the trees. Can I apply for this grant?
    • Yes, if you produce and sell at least $1,000 from the livestock portion of your business you would be eligible.
  • What kind of documentation do I need to submit to prove that I sell at least $1,000 of agricultural products annually?
    • That part of the application is a self-attestation. You must confirm that you meet the USDA definition of a farmer.
  • My farming business is not registered with the Secretary of State yet. Can I apply?
    • Yes, you can apply as an individual.
  • Can two farmers apply for the same project?
    • No, only one of the farmers may apply for the project. We will only approve one application per project.
  • What is the date range when expenses are eligible? Can I purchase something yet this spring?
    • Equipment must be purchased and installed during the grant contract period, which we expect to be July 1, 2024 to March 31, 2025. Before you make any purchases, your grant contract must be fully signed or those costs won’t be eligible.
  • Would one-time use equipment (such as drip tape) be eligible?
    • Yes, but note that “project impact” is worth 30% of the points in the application scoring sheet in the RFP. Reviewers may prefer long-term impacts when they are evaluating proposals.
  • Would a high tunnel be an eligible expense?
    • Yes. Keep in mind that projects will be evaluated based on the application scoring sheet in the RFP.
  • Is personal labor eligible?
    • No.
  • I want to hire a consultant. Is their time an eligible cost for this program?
    • No, only supplies, equipment, and related installation costs are eligible costs.
  • I want to apply for something not listed in the program examples. Is my project eligible?
    • Yes, if your project will help make your operation more resilient to extreme weather. The items on the provided list are just examples.
  • Is there a match requirement?
    • There is a 50% match requirement. Sources of the matching funds may include cash, loans, other grants, and liquid capital assets dedicated to the project.
  • Can I use grant funds from another Minnesota state agency as part of my matching funds?
    • No. State grant funds cannot be used as matching funds, but non-forgivable loans from the state may be used as a match.
  • Can I use in-kind services or a consultant's fees as match?
    • No, only eligible items can be used as match.
  • What are the odds that my application will be funded?
    • The grants are competitively awarded so it depends on the number and quality of applications we receive.
  • Any tips to getting my application funded?
    • The applications will be scored based on the scoring criteria in the RFP. Maximize your points by clearly answering the application questions.
  • Where can I get help with writing the grant application?
    • University of Minnesota Extension and other agricultural groups have resources to help with grant writing. Some applicants have worked with teachers or small business development centers to help them complete their application.
  • I raise both livestock and specialty crops and want to do projects related to both. Can I apply for two grants?
    • No. You must combine both requests into your application, but the maximum award per operation is $10,000.
  • I want to help multiple farmers apply. Do I need to create a username in the system for each farmer or can I apply for them using my account?
    • You can either create an account for each farmer or apply for each farmer using your account. If you use your account, you must create a separate application for each farmer.
  • I have a quote from a vendor for my project. Do I have to follow the bidding requirements outlined in the RFP?
    • All funded applicants need to follow the state’s bidding requirements. We expect that most grantees will need to follow the Non-governmental/nonprofit organization guidelines. Note that if specific contractors are named in the application, you won't need to undergo a formal bidding process, which can save you time and effort later.
  • I have more than five items in my budget. What do I do for the online application?
    • You must use the space provided. If you have more than five items, please combine them. You can further describe your budget items in the budget narrative section of the application.
  • When will I be notified if I am awarded the grant?
    • We will notify all applicants by May 31, 2024.
  • If awarded, what do I need to do to receive the funds?
    • First, you must accept the grant award. This includes submitting an IRS Form W9 to the grant manager and approving the budget for your project. Next, you will sign a grant contract agreement. After the grant contract agreement is fully signed by all parties, you can begin work on the project. Finally, you will need to provide detailed invoices and proof of payments to receive your grant reimbursement.
  • I would like to be notified by phone the status of my application. Is this possible?
    • Yes, please mention in your application that you would like to be contacted by phone.