MDA announces new grant opportunity to support emerging farmers

A new grant opportunity for organizations that support emerging farmers is now open for applications through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Rural Finance Authority (RFA).

The Emerging Farmer Technical Assistance Grant is available to those who provide technical assistance services to emerging farmers in Minnesota. Grant funds can also be used by these organizations to pay up to 65% of emerging farmers’ premium expenses for up to two years under the USDA Micro Farm Crop Insurance program.

“Access to culturally appropriate technical assistance is a top need for Minnesota’s emerging farmers,” MDA Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey said. “This grant is an important tool to support farmers and producers across the state in overcoming disparities and barriers to opening new pathways to agriculture.”

Technical assistance consists of helping farmers with financials, business planning, record keeping, regulations, land access, marketing, applying for state and federal programs, and/or other farm business needs.

Emerging farmers include farmers who are American Indian or Alaskan Natives, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, members of a community of color, women, veterans, persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ or any other emerging farmers as determined by the commissioner of agriculture.

Applications for the grant are due by June 26, 2023, at 8 a.m. The RFA will award $540,000 in one-time grants through a competitive review process, with a maximum award amount of $100,000 and a minimum award amount of $10,000. Decisions are expected in July 2023.

For more information and to access the application materials, visit the Emerging Farmer Technical Assistance Grant webpage.

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