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State Grants Fund On-Farm Livestock Improvements
Minnesota Ag Connection - 10/09/2017

Livestock producers may apply for a portion of $1.9 million in Livestock Investment Grants. Funds are provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Program and may be used for on-farm improvements.

"Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry," said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. "Last year, 105 livestock farmers received grants to improve their operations." With Livestock Investment funds awarded during the 2017 fiscal year, Jordan Daugherty of Raymond purchased feeding and fencing equipment, which will enable him to raise more sheep.

In Hartland, Brady Jensen used grant funds to construct a 2,400 head swine facility to increase profitability and allow a young farmer to start farming full time.

Joseph Hemmesch of Paynesville used the grant funds to update a manure pit and feeding equipment and add more stalls to his barn. These improvements will help grow his dairy herd and protect the environment.

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 eligible. Producers who suffered a loss due to natural disaster may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock, land purchases or debt refinancing. Projects must begin after January 1, 2018.

Past applicants who did not receive an award must reapply for the 2018 program. Applications for beginning farmers, farmers transitioning into livestock, and those with a positive environmental impact receive priority. Details and grant guidelines are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/livestockinvestmentgrant.

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