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The time is now to apply for sustainable agriculture grants from MDA

From developing cold hardy kiwifruit to extending the vegetable growing season, many Minnesota farmers and researchers have turned their ideas into viable production practices with the help of a Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Sustainable Agriculture Grant.

The MDA is now accepting grant applications for projects that promote environmental stewardship and conservation of resources as well as improve profitability and quality of life on farms and in rural areas.

MDA will award up to $90,000 in 2010 for projects such as fruit and vegetable production, livestock production systems, conservation tillage and weed management, organic farming, and alternative energy crop production.

"Minnesota farmers have a strong interest in adopting new approaches that protect the environment and increase profitability," says Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson.

"These grants give our producers and researchers the opportunity to pursue these ideas and track the results."

Completed applications must be received by MDA no later than Jan. 15, 2010. Applications are available on the MDA website at or by contacting the Agricultural Development and Financial Assistance Division at 651-201-6012.

Projects funded by the MDA's Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program are highlighted in the Greenbook, which is free and available online at or by calling 651-201-6012.