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Grants to Minnesota Schools, Nonprofits, and Organizations
to Increase the Use of Local Produce in K-12 Meal Programs

AGRI Farm to School Grant

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Marketing and Development Division

Deadline Date:

11/07/19 4:00 PM CST Receipt


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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 and grants ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 to Minnesota schools, school districts, nonprofits, economic development organizations, and educational cooperatives to increase sales of in-state agricultural products to K-12 schools. Funding is intended for projects and equipment that enable schools to serve more Minnesota agricultural products in elementary and secondary-school food service programs. Grants are available for Planning and for Equipment Purchase and Physical Improvements.

AGRI Farm to School Grants support Minnesota school districts that want to process and serve Minnesota agricultural products. Grants are intended to:

  • Help create plans that identify specific equipment, tools, training, or policies that school districts need
  • Help schools buy equipment they need to buy, prepare, and serve more Minnesota grown and raised food

Grant Categories:

Planning Grants help early care and education organizations create plans that identify specific equipment, tools, training, or policies needed to encourage the purchase, preparation, and serving Minnesota grown and raised food. Examples of Planning Grant projects, include:

  • Determine which Minnesota farmers could sell to the school what products they produce, how foods would be delivered, how many pounds can be purchased, etc.
  • Determine how a school could establish a Farm to School program by identifying product availability and cost, and necessary equipment, tools, training, or policies. Please note, training and workshop fees cannot not be covered by grant dollars.
  • Additional uses may be proposed, but applicants are encouraged to contact the program administrator to confirm eligibility

Equipment Purchase and Physical Improvement Grants help early care and education organizations purchase equipment and update relevant infrastructure to allow for the increase purchase, preparation, and serving of Minnesota grown and raised food. Project examples include:

  • Food processing equipment
  • Food preparation equipment
  • Corers, slicers, wedgers, knives, or other food preparation tools
  • Salad bars
  • Steamers
  • Storage containers
  • Coolers/refrigeration units
  • Additional equipment purchases and physical improvements may be proposed

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146053

Estimated Size of Grant:

Planning Grants can range from $1,000 to $30,000.

Equipment Purchases And Physical Improvement Grants can range from $1,000 to $50,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following groups are eligible to apply:
- Public or private schools or school districts that are a part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and serve food to preschool and/or K-12 students. Multi-district proposals are welcome but not required.
- Economic Development organizations
- Nonprofit organizations
- Educational service cooperatives
- Previous Farm to School Grant recipients are eligible to apply for and receive funding in future grant cycles. There is no lifetime cap on how much a grantee may be awarded.

Ineligible Expenses:
-School gardens, greenhouses
-Food used in school cafeterias
-Costs incurred prior to award
-Training and workshop fees
-Advertising and public relations
-Bad debts, including uncollectible accounts and other claims, related collection costs, and related legal costs
-Donated or volunteer (in-kind) services. While these may be furnished to an applicant by professional and technical personnel, consultants, and other skilled and unskilled labor, the value of these services is not reimbursable either as a direct or indirect cost
-Donations, in kind contributions, including property, and services, made by the applicant, regardless of the recipient
-Entertainment, amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, alcohol and gratuities)
-Fines, penalties and other settlement expense resulting from violations (or alleged violations) of, or failure of the applicant to comply with, Federal, State, local, or Indian tribal laws and regulations
-Fundraising including financial campaigns, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred to raise capital or obtain contributions regardless of the purpose for which the funds will be used
-Indirect costs (expenses of doing business that are not readily identified within the project, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization and the implementation proposal related activities)
-Investment management costs, including costs of investment counsel and staff, and similar expenses incurred to enhance income from investments
-Land purchases
-Lobbying - including costs of membership in organizations substantially engaged in lobbying
-Political activities

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due no later than 4:00 pm CST on Thursday, November 7, 2019.

If you cannot apply using this process, you may submit an application by email. Applicants may submit questions regarding the RFP to Lisa Sawyer using the contact information below.

For Planning Grants, up to 75% of the total project cost may be covered by the grant. Recipients must contribute the remaining 25% of the project cost as a cash match. Planning grant projects must involve schools or central facilities that participate in NSLP.

For Equipment Purchases And Physical Improvement Grants, up to 50% of the total project cost may be covered by the grant. Recipients must contribute the remaining 50% of the project cost as a cash match. Equipment purchases and physical improvements may only be made in school sites that participate in NSLP or CACFP, or in central facilities that service participating sites

Sources of the cash-match may include: non-state funds (funds that were NOT obtained through the budgeting process of the Minnesota Legislature or granted by a State agency) in the form of cash, loans, other grants or liquid capital assets dedicated to the project.

Applicants are required to submit at least one letter of support from a Minnesota farmer who currently sells to the school(s), or might sell to the school(s) after the grant is received.

AGRI Overview:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Lisa Sawyer, Ag Marketing and Development

MN Department of Agriculture
Marketing and Development Division
625 Robert Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55155

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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