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AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant (SADG) Program

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, IHEs, and Farmers to
Demonstrate Sustainable Agriculture Techniques

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

Deadline Date:

12/13/17 4:00 PM CST Receipt


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Grants of up to $25,000 to Minnesota nonprofits organizations, educational institutions, individuals affiliated with educational institutions, and farmers to promote sustainable agriculture. The purpose of this program is to publicize and demonstrate the environmental benefit, economic profitability, and energy efficiency or sustainable agriculture techniques or systems from production through marketing.

Eligible types of projects include (but are not limited to):
-Enterprise diversification and organic production using traditional and non-traditional crops and livestock;
-Cover crops and crop rotations;
-Conservation tillage and weed management;
-Seed breeding and/or conservation;
-Integrated pest management systems for insects, weeds, and diseases;
-Livestock production systems or management strategies;
-Nutrient and pesticide management, including runoff protection;
-Farm-based energy production such as wind, methane, or biomass;
-Conservation (energy, soil, water);
-Developing/refining/improving marketing opportunities, including season extension and post-harvest storage and handling;
-Other creative ideas that address farm 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.

Eligible costs include:
-Wages for time spent directly on the grant project (beyond normal farming operations). Provide justification for the hourly rate;
-Consultant fees. Provide justification for the hourly rate;
-Costs to lease or use farm equipment needed for the project;
-Durable equipment or other items necessary for the project valued at less than $1,000 each;
-Project-related services such as soil testing or other analyses;
-Project-related travel;
-Postage, printing, and telephone expenses related to the project;
-Outreach expenses (advertising, handouts, refreshments, etc.) for one outreach event in the final year.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 137510

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

This program offers a maximum of $25,000 per grant.

Term of Contract:

Project duration is 2 or 3 years. Single year projects are no longer considered.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Minnesota farmers, educational institutions, individuals at educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

Government entities are not eligible.

Applicants must be Minnesota residents.

Projects must take place on Minnesota farms.

Projects led by a farmer or group of farmers receive additional points in scoring.

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.

Cooperators & Cooperator Letters:

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, Extension, engineering, marketing, finance, data collection, statistics, etc. Use the Technical Cooperator to help design the project, carry it out, and/or review and interpret the results. This person is expected to serve as an advisor – not someone you pay to do the project for you. A technical advisor cannot be a family member.

-Applications must include a letter of commitment from at least one Technical Cooperator. In the letter, the cooperator must explain how he or she will contribute to the project. If the budget contains funds for the Cooperator, the letter must include the hourly rate that he or she will charge.

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 his or her involvement. The farmer is expected to be involved in project -- not simply provide land where it can be conducted.

-Applications must include a letter of commitment from the farmer(s). In the letter, the farmer must explain how he or she will be involved in the project.

Other important information and requirements:
-Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) employees are not eligible to receive grants from this program.
-Any applicant may receive only one Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant (SADG) at a time.
-Every project must publicize and hold an outreach event (preferably a field day) in the final
season/year of the project.

Ineligible costs include:
-Equipment or other items that cost more than $1,000. Examples include: tractors, motorized vehicles, buildings (including greenhouses and high tunnels), windmills or wind turbines, building g construction, and computers;
-Compensation for a grant writing consultant or grant manager;
-Business start-up costs (i.e., starting a farm);
-Pre-award costs (expenses incurred before a contract is signed).

Pre-Application Information:

MDA strongly prefers that you use the online application process. If you cannot apply using this process, you may submit an application by mail, email, or by delivery to the MDA.

All completed applications must be received by 4:00 PM CST on Wednesday, December 13, 2017.

Awards will be announced in Mid-February.

All successful applicants MUST attend a New Grantee Meeting during the first half of March 2018.

Submit all questions regarding the RFP to Ann Kuzj. All questions received, along with the answers to those questions, will be posted on the FAQ page:

For more ideas, see previously funded projects summarized in the Greenbook:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Ann Kuzj, Grants Specialist

Minnesota Department of Agriculture
625 Robert St. North
Saint Paul, MN 55155

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota