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MDA grants for livestock producers now available

Minnesota livestock producers can apply for funding to offset the costs of improving or expanding their operations through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Livestock Investment Program.

The program gave the state's livestock industry a much-needed boost when it was first launched in 2008. This year, applications will be accepted through Nov. 30.

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 of this year are eligible for consideration.

A new provision added this year would allow qualified producers who suffered a loss due to a natural disaster or unintended consequence to use the grant to help off set some of those losses as a part of the rebuilding process.

MDA Commissioner Gene Hugoson says the program is a great incentive for producers who have been considering improvements to their operations.

"By the huge number of applicants we had last year, we know producers are looking for ways to help offset some of the expense of improvements or expansion," said Hugoson.

"I'm pleased we can again offer the grants and help our livestock industry."

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. Minnesota livestock producers who applied for but did not receive a grant last year will not have to reapply.

Those who received grants will need to apply again to be eligible for consideration.

More information on the Minnesota Livestock Investment Program can be found on the MDA website at