Thanks to an increase in state funding this year, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will award $150,000 in Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants to help farmers, researchers, and educators implement new sustainable farming systems.
The 2007 Minnesota Legislature increased the funding amount by an additional $80,000.
MDA is now accepting applications for these grants, which are available for three-year projects that benefit the environment, increase farm net profits through cost reduction or enhanced marketing, and improve the farm family quality of life.
Applications must be received by MDA no later than January 18, 2008. Grant applications are available on the MDA website at www.mda.state.mn.us/grants/grants/demogrant.htm. Or, contact the Agricultural Development and Financial Assistance Division at 651-201-6012.
Examples of eligible projects include fruit and vegetable production, conservation tillage and weed management; integrated pest management; livestock production; organic farming; alternative energy crop production; and use of cover crops.
Since 1989, MDA has awarded 253 Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration grants. Recent projects include aerial seeding winter rye into standing row crops to reduce soil erosion and nitrogen leaching; using an in-line round bale wrapper to seal high moisture round bales for use during the non-grazing season; and, testing the potential of hybrid willow as a biomass energy alternative.