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Livestock Investment Grant Program Assists New Farmers

Minnesota Department of Agriculture
The state of Minnesota, Department of Agriculture, just announced another round of grants available to new farmers in the state. The grant program, called the Livestock Investment Grant Program, actually started in 2009 and has been helping small farmers expand their business.

In order to help small farmers remain competitive, the grant program is targeted toward beginning farmers and farmers who are taking over the family farm, although more experienced small farmers are also eligible. So far this year, about 100 livestock producers have been helped by the state through Livestock Investment grants. About 75 percent of the $1.1 million in grant awards were given to farmers age 35 and younger who had been farming for less than 10 years.

Minnesota’s mid-sized family owned and operated farms are rapidly disappearing. Small cattle, hog, poultry and dairy farmers struggle to make it with very large farms producing 59 percent of total production. The state wants to help new farmers, including those who are taking over the family farm. Farmers who are willing to invest their own money will be able to get state assistance equal to about ten percent of the cost of their agriculture projects.

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson stated,  “These grants have enabled livestock farmers to pay for new buildings or make renovations. In some cases, the recipients used the grants for modernizations and improvements that would help expedite the farm transition process to their sons or daughters.”

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