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Funding available to protect livestock health

The final date to apply for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture grant program is March 7.

January 31, 2024

2 Min Read
Close-up of a chicken
GRANT FOR HEALTH: Any livestock producer is eligible to apply for the Protecting Livestock Grant Program, but priority consideration will be given to those who produce cervids, poultry and ratites. Susan Rydberg/Getty Images

A new grant opportunity from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is offered to help the state’s farmers and ranchers protect livestock from disease and other risks. Grants will help eligible producers buy and install supplies or equipment that will help prevent disease outbreaks and protect animals not currently covered by existing depredation programs.

The Protecting Livestock Grant Program, also referred to as the Protect Grant, offers one-time competitive grants of up to $10,000 and requires a 50% match. While all types of livestock operations are eligible to apply, priority consideration will be given to those that produce:

Cervids (farmed elk and deer). This is due to new fencing requirements passed during the 2023 legislative session.

Poultry and ratites (ostrich, emu). This is due to the ongoing threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Since 2022, the most recent outbreak has affected at least 150 poultry operations and more than 6 million birds in Minnesota.

“With risks like chronic wasting disease and HPAI continuing to threaten Minnesota livestock, it’s important for farmers and ranchers to take proactive efforts to protect their animals,” MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen says. “I encourage all livestock producers to apply for these grant funds to fortify their operations.”

For the purpose of this program, “livestock” includes beef and dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervids (deer, elk), ratites (flightless birds including emu), llamas and honeybees.

Eligible projects include fencing, electronic animal ID systems, air filtration, exclusion systems, Danish entry systems, truck washes, and other strategies to prevent and mitigate disease and other risks.

A total of $500,000 is available, and the MDA expects to award 50 to 75 grants. Applications are being accepted through March 7. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible, but no later than April 15, about whether their proposal was funded.

The Protecting Livestock Grant Program is funded through the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program, which provides grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools and more throughout Minnesota. The AGRI Program exists to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors.

Full grant details and the request for proposals can be found on the MDA website.

Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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