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Minnesota Department of Agriculture Offers Funding for Cooperative Development
Minnesota Ag Connection - 02/22/2024

Minnesota farmers have a new opportunity for financial support with the launch of the Cooperative Development Grant Program by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). This grant program, established through legislation during the 2023 Minnesota legislative session, is designed to assist new agricultural cooperatives in the state.

Commissioner Thom Petersen highlighted the significance of farmer-owned cooperatives in advocating for and supporting Minnesota agriculture. The MDA's new funding initiative aims to fortify the agricultural cooperative network across the state, fostering growth and creating more opportunities for locally produced commodities, products, and services.

The Cooperative Development Grant Program is now open for applications, welcoming proposals from new cooperatives seeking funding for business development strategies. These strategies should contribute to the successful production, processing, or marketing of agricultural commodities, products, or services within Minnesota.

For the current round of Cooperative Development Grants, the MDA is prepared to award up to $375,000. Applicants can request funding ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 per project, with a requirement to match at least 50% of the total project cost. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2026.

To be considered, grant applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Interested parties can find comprehensive application details in the request for proposals (RFP) available on the Cooperative Development Grant Program web page.

This funding opportunity aligns with the MDA's commitment to promoting cooperative development as a key driver of economic growth and sustainability in Minnesota's agricultural landscape. By providing financial support to new cooperatives, the MDA aims to enhance the resilience and success of local farmers and contribute to the overall strength of the state's agricultural sector.

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