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AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant (SADG) Program

Grants to Minnesota Farmers, Nonprofits, and Educational
Institutions to Advance Agricultural Research and Resources

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

Deadline Date:

12/10/20 4:00 PM CST Receipt


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Grants to Minnesota farmers, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and individuals at educational institutions for projects to advance agricultural research and resources throughout the State. Funding is intended to support innovative projects that increase profitability, benefit the environment, and maximize the energy efficiency of sustainable agricultural practices and systems from production through marketing.

Examples of eligible projects:

  • Increased environmental sustainability and improved soil health
  • Conservation tillage and weed management
  • Novel cover crops and crop rotations
  • Nutrient and pesticide management, including runoff protection
  • Farm-based energy efficiency or production such as wind, methane, or biomass
  • Integrated pest management systems for insects, weeds, and diseases
  • Seed breeding and/or conservation
  • Livestock production systems or management strategies
  • Developing/refining/improving marketing opportunities, including season extension and post-harvest storage and handling
  • Novel enterprise diversification, including organic production, using traditional and non-traditional crops and livestock
  • Other creative ideas that address farm input reduction or management, conservation, energy, and/or profitability

Reviewers are looking for interesting ideas that may or may not work. Ideas do not have to be brand new, but should be new to Minnesota or the part of the state where they’re being proposed. For more ideas, see previously funded projects summarized in the Greenbook (see the link in Pre-Application Information below).

Every project must publicize and hold an outreach event in the form of a field day or other virtual event in the final season/year of the project. Examples of outreach events may include, but are not limited to, field days, video diaries, posts of how-to guides, blog posts, podcast interviews, presentations at ag-based conferences or meetings, etc.

For a list of eligible costs, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 137510

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request up to $50,000 per project.

Term of Contract:

Projects must have a duration of at least two years but may last no more than three.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Minnesota farmers, educational institutions, individuals at educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Applicants must be Minnesota residents. Projects must take place on Minnesota farms. Projects led by a farmer or group of farmers receive priority.

Applications from Minnesota farmers receive priority, but the program also funds Minnesota nonprofits and educational organizations that meaningfully involve Minnesota farmers in projects.

A farmer is someone who cultivates, operates, or manages a farm for profit, and who grows or raises at least $1,000 of agricultural products for sale annually.

If you are a farmer: You must involve at least one Technical Cooperator. She or he should have technical expertise that will strengthen the project. It might be assistance in soil science, biology, agronomy, horticulture, entomology, engineering, marketing, finance, data collection, statistics, etc.

If you are not a farmer: You must have at least one Farmer Cooperator who is meaningfully involved in designing and carrying out the project. The budget should include funds to compensate the farmer for their involvement. The farmer is expected to be involved in the project - not simply provide land where it can be conducted.

Government entities are not eligible.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) employees are not eligible to receive grants from this program.

For a list of ineligible costs, see

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be received by 4:00 PM Central Time on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Interested applicants should apply online. If you need the application in an alternative format, contact the program administrator.

Questions must be submitted by email by 4:00 PM CST on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Responses to all questions regarding the application process will be posted on the Questions and Answers portion of the AGRI SustAg webpage ( Applicants may contact the Grants Team with technical assistance questions up to the submittal deadline.

Applicants will be notified of decisions by February 5, 2021.

For requests between $25,000 and $50,000, applicants must provide a dollar for dollar match on the amount above $25,000.

Any applicant may be awarded only one SustAg grant in this round of grants. Applicants can submit more than one application (multiple project ideas).

Applicants are encouraged to read prior issues of the Greenbook, which contains summaries, findings, and locations of previous grants. Using the Greenbook will help you design a competitive project. See

Questions and Answers:

Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants Statute (M.S. 17.116):

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Questions must be submitted by email to with "AGRI SustAg Questions" in the subject line.

Emily Mehr, Ag Marketing & Development

Grants Line - Ag Marketing & Development

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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