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MDA announces Value Added Grant recipients

Nearly 50 Minnesota farmers, producers and processors will share $1 million in Value Added Grants distributed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

The Value Added Grant Program helps agricultural producers add value to their businesses resulting in the development of new products, creation and expansion of marketing opportunities, and an increase of agricultural sales.

“In order to expand production, processing, and marketing of Minnesota agricultural products, investment is needed to identify new opportunities,” said Minnesota Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Poster.

“These grants will increase rural economic activities, help create new businesses, and generate new jobs.

The projects that were awarded funding include the purchase of coolers and grinders for meat processing facilities, installation of creamery production and cheese processing equipment for dairy farms, and construction of high tunnels for extending the growing season on fruit and vegetable farms.

Other grantees will use the funds to pay for feasibility studies and business plans, and to implement methods to increase on-farm food safety.

The Value Added Grants are made available through the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program (AGRI), established by the legislature to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy industries.

Another round of Value Added Grants will begin later this summer.