The Protecting Livestock Grant Program, also referred to as the Protect Grant, helps Minnesota farmers and ranchers buy and install supplies or equipment that will:

  • Prevent livestock disease outbreaks.
  • Protect animals not currently covered by existing depredation programs (e.g., protect honeybee colonies from bears).

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

  • You may request between $500 and $10,000 per farming operation; a 1:1 cash match is required.  

Eligibility 

Minnesota livestock producers may apply. Only one application will be accepted per operation.  

  • For the purposes of this grant, livestock include beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervids (deer, elk), ratites (flightless birds including emu), llamas, and honeybees. 

Project examples:

  • Legislatively compliant fencing for farmed cervid operations
  • Exclusionary fencing to protect honeybee colonies from damage by bears
  • Electronic animal ID systems (including readers and software) 
  • Livestock handling chutes
  • Truck washes
  • Air filtration systems
  • Danish entry systems
  • Exclusion systems to help keep wild birds and other animals out of livestock facilities
  • Isolation pens
  • Pen covers for outdoor poultry
  • Inflatables (to scare wild species away from poultry operations)
  • Lasers (to scare wild species away from poultry operations)
  • Sound machines (to scare wild species away from poultry operations)

Payments are issued on a reimbursement basis and not in advance. All purchases for eligible items must be made between July 1, 2023, and March 31, 2025.  

Applying 

The application period is open until 4 p.m. Central Time (CT) on Thursday, March 7, 2024

  • Carefully read the full Protect 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 “AGRI Protect Grant.”

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. 

  • We’ll review and score proposals that address priority species (farmed cervids, poultry, and ratites) on a first-come, first-served basis until the application period closes.
  • After March 7, 2024, reviewers will consider remaining applications. We expect to notify all applicants by April 15, 2024.

Project Grant Q&A

No, the protect program is very specific on the species eligible. The list of "Livestock" includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervids (deer), ratites (flightless birds including emu), llamas, and honeybees.

No, the Protect Grant is designated for operations that are directly involved in livestock production and must be considered a farm. A farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.

Yes, that would be an eligible project.

Bids, quotes, and other source documents are optional. You may include these documents if they help explain the details and cost for the project.