Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grants were first funded by the Minnesota Legislature in 2017. These grants were available to Minnesota livestock producers and $240,000 was granted by the Department to livestock producers for costs of approved practices to prevent wolf-livestock conflicts between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2019.
This fall, the Department has received a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to continue making grants to livestock producers for measures that will reduce wolf-livestock conflicts. A total of $60,000 is available through August 31, 2020. Like the previous rounds of grants, eligible expenses for the grant program will include any or all of the following items: purchase of guard animals, veterinary costs for guard animals, the installation of wolf-barriers which may include pens, fladry and fencing, the installation of wolf-deterring lights and alarms, calving or lambing shelters, or other measures demonstrated to effectively reduce wolf-livestock conflicts.
Grant applications will be scored competitively using an evaluation profile and then ranked based on total score. Please pay special attention to the evaluation profile when answering the questions on the application. A review committee comprised of representatives from Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Agriculture (MDA, DNR, USDA) and producer organizations will evaluate applications.
Applications for the Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grants must be emailed or postmarked by 5:00 PM January 31, 2020. Late applications will not be considered. The MDA is not responsible for any email problems resulting in MDA not receiving a proposal on time. It is the responsibility of the responder to ensure that any email submittals are received by MDA before the deadline. If unable to fill-out electronically, please use black ink. Keep a copy of your application for your own records. Incomplete grant applications will not be accepted or reviewed. Submitted applications will not be returned.
Applicants will be notified of the status of their application by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in mid-March, 2020. Approved projects should be able to begin by mid-April, 2020. All expenses must be incurred and work completed by August 31, 2020. Grant funds will be paid when proof of project expenses are received and approved by the MDA. No expenses incurred prior to a written agreement with the Department will be reimbursed.
A Minnesota livestock farmer meeting these criteria:
- in good standing with the state of Minnesota (no back taxes),
- current Minnesota resident or entity authorized to farm in Minnesota,
- principal operator of the farm (actively involved in the operation of the farm), and
- farms in Minnesota’s wolf range or has had documented wolf issues.
Link to Application
You may submit an application by e-mail, mail, or in-person.
Frequently Asked Questions
All questions regarding the application should be submitted in writing to the MDA at MN_MDA_elkandwolf@state.mn.us. All questions received, along with the answers to those questions, will be added to this list as they are answered. All questions must be asked prior to 5:00 PM January 24, 2020.
What are Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grants?
The US Fish and Wildlife Service granted $60,000 to the MDA through August 31, 2020 to grant out to Minnesota livestock producers for measures that will reduce wolf-livestock conflicts.
Who is eligible?
Livestock producers within Minnesota’s wolf range or on property determined by the commissioner to be affected by wolf-livestock conflicts. Grant recipients will continue to be eligible for depredation payments under Minnesota Statute 3.737 and Minnesota Rules Chapter 1515.
What livestock species are eligible?
Any animal produced for profit and has been documented to have been killed by wolves in Minnesota in the past is eligible. This includes but is not exclusive to the following animals which the MDA has paid depredation claims for in the past: bison, cattle, chicken, deer, donkey, duck, geese, goat, horse, llama, mule, sheep, swine and turkey.
What does the grant cover?
Grants are available to reimburse costs associated with the following practices: the purchase of guard animals, veterinary costs for guard animals, the installation of wolf-barriers which may include pens, fladry and fencing, the installation of wolf-deterring lights and alarms, calving or lambing shelters, or other measures suggested by the applicant and considered by the review panel likely to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts.
What expenses are ineligible?
Any measures that are not implemented in a good-faith effort to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts are ineligible. Only measures approved by the MDA will be considered eligible for reimbursement. All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) or other vehicles are considered to be ineligible expenses. Salary expenses not related to the construction of barriers, shelters, lights or alarms are also considered ineligible expenses.
What are other grant requirements?
Grant recipients must make a good-faith effort to avoid wolf-livestock conflicts, make a good-faith effort to care for guard animals paid for with grant funds, retain proper documentation of expenses, report within 30 days of project end to the on the effectiveness of the nonlethal methods employed and allow follow-up evaluation and monitoring by the commissioner. The terms of the project will be defined in a grant agreement between the grantee and the MDA.
How are grants awarded?
Grant applications must be electronically date stamped or postmarked no later than 5:00 PM January 31, 2020. Grant applications will be evaluated by a review panel and scored using the evaluation criteria (page 10). Applicants will be notified in mid-March, 2020 and approved expenses for successful applicants will be eligible for reimbursement after a specified date until August 31, 2020. Applicants must pay for expenses up-front and then submit documentation of expenses to the MDA to receive payment of grant funds. Only expenses incurred after a grant agreement has been completed between the grantee and the MDA will be eligible for reimbursement through this program.
Is my application considered public data?
Per Minnesota Statute §13.599, the names and addresses of grant applicants will be public data once proposal responses are opened. All remaining data in proposal responses (except trade secret data as defined and classified in §13.37) will be public data after the evaluation process is completed (for the purposes of this grant, when all grant agreements have been fully executed). All data created or maintained by the MDA as part of the evaluation process (except trade secret data as defined and classified in §13.37) will be public data after the evaluation process is completed (for the purposes of this grant, when all grant agreements have been fully executed).
Will the grant be audited?
Per Minnesota Statute §16B.98 Subdivision 8, the grantee’s books, records, documents, and accounting procedures and practices of the grantee or other party that are the grantee or other party that are relevant to the grant or transaction are subject to examination by the granting agency and either the legislative auditor or the state auditor, as appropriate. This requirement will last for a minimum of six years from the grant agreement end date, receipt, and approval of all final reports, or the required period of time to satisfy all state and program retention requirements, whichever is later.
Questions Asked by Potential Applicants
Am I eligible to apply for this grant if I am just in the beginning stages of my farm? Do I have to have livestock currently or can I apply with the plans that I am working on?
Past grants have required that to be eligible, a livestock producer must raise livestock within Minnesota’s wolf range or on property determined by the commissioner to be affected by wolf-livestock conflicts. An important scoring criteria that will be used by a panel reviewing these proposals will be the past impact of wolves on livestock owned by the applicant. So, while you are free to apply you will be at a competitive disadvantage to any livestock producer who has experienced past losses.
Am I eligible to apply for this grant if I am not clearly located in Minnesota wolf range? Wolves have been reported in my area.
Similar to the question above, you are eligible to apply but will be at a competitive disadvantage to any livestock producers who have past documented losses to wolves or who are clearly located in known Minnesota wolf range.
I expect to receive funds from NRCS to establish fencing. Can I also apply to this grant for the funds needed to make that fencing resistant to wolves?
You are free to apply to this grant program but you should clearly articulate in your proposal how grants funds will be used compared to any other funds that may be used to establish fencing and how the funds requested of the grant would offer wolf protection that otherwise would not occur.
Can I apply for an ATV? Is it possible that the grant would only cover part of the cost?
ATV's and other vehicles are considered to be ineligible expenses for these grants. Regarding partial coverage of other expenses, if the total of all grant requests exceed $60,000, then the panel may elect to propose partial funding for some proposals. That will be worked out with applicants on a case by case basis.
I know I have had animals killed by wolves, but I have never had it documented. How do I describe that on the application?
You can apply whether you have had documentation of livestock killed by wolves or not. However, producers who have had confirmed wolf depredation will have a competitive advantage. On the application you should provide all the detail you can about how you know you have had past wolf depredation issues and why they have not been confirmed.
Page updated October 24, 2019