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Minnesota grants help fund livestock improvements on the farm

Staff Writer | October 5, 2016
Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson asks livestock producers to apply for a portion of $2 million in grants available for on-farm improvements.
Helping farmers   Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation
This is part of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Program.

With funds awarded during the Fiscal Year 2015 Livestock Investment Grant, Jared Franke of Hayfield constructed a new beef barn to increase efficiency and allow the next generation to enter into the family farming operation.

In Fairmont, Michael Laue constructed a 2,400 head swine facility to increase profitability and allow a young farmer to start farming full time.

Matthew and David Hanson of Goodridge used grant funding to expand and improve their existing dairy facilities by adding a robotic milking unit and installing equipment to improve profitability.

Qualifying producers are reimbursed 10 percent of the first $500,000 of investment, with a minimum investment of $4,000. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction or improvement of livestock buildings or facilities.

Fencing, feeding and waste management equipment are also covered. Producers who suffered a loss due to natural disaster may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock, land purchases or debt refinancing.

Past applicants who did not receive an award need to reapply for the 2017 program. These grants are incentives to start projects, which must begin after January 1, 2017. Applications for operations with farmers transitioning into livestock, beginning farmers, and those with a positive environmental impact receive priority.