ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that it is accepting applications for funding through the state’s Value Added Grant program. The grants are designed to help farmers, producers, and processors add value to their operations and the state’s agricultural economy. Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature first established the grant program in 2013 to advance the Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries.
“Minnesota’s Value Added Grant program is a great way for farmers, producers, and processors to grow their businesses,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “In 2015, the Value Added Grant Program helped leverage $7 million in private investment and supported the creation of 119 jobs. I encourage Minnesota Ag producers looking to grow their businesses to apply for funding before the March 8th deadline.”
Applicants have several options to boost their businesses with a portion of the $1 million available through the Value Added grants:
- Start, expand or update livestock product processing.
- Purchase equipment to start, upgrade, or modernize a business.
- Increase on-farm food safety.
- Increase processing and aggregating capacity to sell to schools, hospitals or others.
- Increase the use and processing of Minnesota agricultural products
Eligible applicants must be involved in production, processing or marketing Minnesota agricultural products. Farmers, businesses, agricultural cooperatives, or local government entities operating farmers markets or food hubs are eligible.
“As a result of this grant, we look forward to many years to come of successful maple sap processing and increased maple syrup sales,” said Kristin van den Berg of Sawtooth Mountain Maple Syrup Company, a past grant recipient.
The grant reimburses up to 25 percent of the total project cost with a maximum award of $150,000 and a minimum of $1,000. Equipment purchases and facility improvements are eligible.
Applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Apply online, www.mda.state.mn.us/valueadded.aspx or submit an application by e-mail, mail, or in-person. Another application round is scheduled for later summer/fall 2016.