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Bennett encourages applications for research grants

District 27A Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, is encouraging applications for livestock investment grants and agriculture research grants available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

“I want our farmers to be aware of the various grants and other opportunities available to them through the Department of Agriculture,” Bennett said in a press release. “These grants will help drive agriculture innovation and make life a little easier for livestock farmers. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office for more information or questions about the grant process.”

Livestock investment grants are available for Minnesota livestock farmers for expenses incurred between Aug. 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017. Producers can be reimbursed 10 percent of the first $500,000 of investment in their operation (minimum $4,000 investment). Eligible expenses include purchase, construction or improvement of livestock buildings or facilities, purchase of fencing, and expenses for feeding or waste management equipment. Grants may also be used if livestock farmers have suffered losses due to natural disaster or other unexpected events. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18.

More information can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/livestockinvestmentgrant or by calling 1-800-967-2474.

In addition, $2 million in agriculture research grants are available for any Minnesota organization, research entity, individual or business that conducts agriculture research.

According to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, research needs to focus “on improving agricultural product quality, quantity and value,” and “must benefit Minnesota farmers and the state’s economy in the next three to five years. Maximum grant awards are $250,000 per project for up to three years.

Additional details are available on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by visiting www.mda.state.mn.us/grants and clicking on “Agriculture Growth, Research and Innovation Program.” The deadline for submissions is November 2015.

Links to both grants will be available on Bennett’s legislative website at www.house.mn/27A.