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Grants to grow green in Minnesota

Grants to grow green in Minnesota

By Scout Nelson

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced a new opportunity for local organizations interested in advancing sustainable agriculture. They are accepting applications for grants aimed at developing enterprises and markets for continuous living cover (CLC) crops and cropping systems.

CLC involves maintaining living plants year-round, encompassing a range of practices from cover crops to agroforestry. These practices not only improve soil and water quality but also enhance carbon sequestration and biodiversity, including pollinator habitats. Common CLC systems include regenerative poultry silvopasture, Kernza® perennial grain, and elderberry cultivation.

This initiative is part of the third call for proposals, funded through both the General Fund and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Previously, 11 projects have benefited from this grant, contributing significantly to the development of sustainable agricultural markets in Minnesota.

The grants aim to support the acquisition of specialized equipment and the development of business strategies that will strengthen the supply chains for CLC crops. This, in turn, is expected to increase the adoption of these sustainable practices across the state’s farmlands.

Eligible applicants include a diverse range of organizations from companies to tribal groups and political associations, all focused on enhancing continuous living cover. The MDA will select recipients through a competitive process, with grants ranging from $10,000 to $45,000.

Applications are due by July 15, 2024, and must be submitted through the MDA's online system by 4:30 p.m. Central Time. This grant program represents a significant step toward modernizing and expanding sustainable agriculture in Minnesota.

Photo Credit -minnesota-department-of-agriculture

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Categories: Minnesota, Business, Government & Policy, Sustainable Agriculture

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