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MDA grant program will boost Minnesota's livestock industry

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MDA grant program will boost Minnesota's livestock industry
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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for the Livestock Investment Grant Program, a new program to help support the state's livestock industry. Livestock producers can apply for the funding to help offset the costs of improving or expanding their operations.

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Qualifying producers would be 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 buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing as well as feeding and waste management equipment.

Improvements made since Jan. 1, 2008 are eligible for consideration. MDA Commissioner Gene Hugoson says the livestock investment grants will give the state's livestock producers a boost to help them compete in the global marketplace.

"Many of our livestock producers have considered making investments in their operations and this grant program will provide some incentive for them to proceed," he said. "Minnesota is in the top ten states in livestock production and to remain competitive we need to ensure farmers are able to make investments that will help them not only maintain and but also enhance their operations."

Qualified grant applications will be awarded competitively through an evaluation committee. The grant will not pay for the cost of purchasing livestock or the cost of debt refinancing. Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 15.

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