Grant funding is available for Minnesota residents or businesses interested in studying the feasibility of a new venture to add value to an agricultural commodity or product. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Value-Added Feasibility Study Grant will reimburse eligible farmers and farm networks, agricultural cooperatives, agricultural businesses, and others up to 50 percent of the costs for a third party consultant to conduct the feasibility study, with a maximum award of $35,000.
"Feasibility studies are important to determine if a project can work on paper before even raising the capital to move it forward," said David Weinand, Project Consultant with the MDA. Developing marketing plans and assessing risk, infrastructure needs, and financing options provided by these studies can offer valuable insights regarding new and expanding ventures.
The MDA is requesting that interested parties submit a "Letter of Interest" as the first step in this competitive grant process. Letters of Interest will be evaluated, and upon approval, applicants will be offered free consulting services from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI).
"AURI will help to further define what the applicant wants from the feasibility study and develop the scope of work for the study," said Weinand.
Interested parties are invited to submit a Letter of Interest by visiting the Grants page on the MDA's website. Letters of Interest must be submitted at the Online Grant Application website. Applicants must be Minnesota residents and the proposed value-added business must be located in Minnesota. The submission deadline is on a first come, first served basis through June 15, 2016.