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Sustainable grants available for farmers

Minnesota farmers have an unexpected opportunity to apply for funds that will help them research and demonstrate ways to improve resource efficiencies on their farms.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program is announcing a second call for grant proposals that target soil fertility, conservation tillage and energy.

"Farmers are full of good ideas they want to try. From grazing livestock to extending the fruit and vegetable growing season, many Minnesota farmers and researchers have turned their ideas into viable production practices with the help of this grant program over the past 20 years," said Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson.

Up to $30,000 is available 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.

Three year grant proposals requesting $8,000 or less will receive top consideration. The grant review panel requested MDA issue this second call for proposals to encourage more applications that pertain to cropping systems and soil and energy issues.

Completed applications must be received by MDA no later than March 29, 2010. The application packet is available on the MDA website at

us/esap or by calling 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 at or by calling (651) 201-6012.