Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson asks livestock producers to apply for a portion of $2 million in grants available for on-farm improvements. “Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry. Last year, we had 120 livestock farmers receive grants to improve their operation,” said Frederickson.
Crystal Enberg of Kenyon is building a new 1,200 head hog finishing barn and plans to build a second barn in the future. As a beginning farmer, this new facility eases her transition into the hog industry.
John Scherber of Rogers is building a cross ventilated barn to increase cow and human comfort, including: incorporating energy efficient lighting, ventilation, and robotic milking. The new barn will boost air and environmental quality and opens the door for the next generation to join the farm.
Mark Strom of McIntosh, is a fifth generation beginning farmer and plans to build two new barns and a coral with a cattle handling system. New barns will allow the cows to calve healthier, under cover, and for calves.
Qualifying producers are 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 livestock buildings or facilities. Fencing, feeding and waste management equipment are also covered. Producers who suffered a loss due to natural disaster may also apply. The grant will not pay for livestock, land purchases, or debt refinancing.
Past applicants who did not receive an award need to reapply for the 2016 program. These grants are incentives to start projects, which must begin after August 1, 2015. Applications for operations with farmers transitioning into livestock, beginning farmers, and those with a positive environmental impact receive priority. Details and guidelines of the grant are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/livestockinvestmentgrant.
The application deadline is December 18, 2015. Please apply online: http://tinyurl.com/mdalivestock.