The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is awarding up to $50,000 in Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation grants to eligible institutions to increase the use of Minnesota dairy in their nutrition programs.

The AGRI Milk Cooler Grant assists schools and early care and education organizations in purchasing milk coolers and related dairy equipment. Each school or organization may apply for up to $1,500 per milk cooler. A maximum of three proposals will be accepted for each organization or school district. Eligible expenses include the cost of the milk cooler and associated installation expenses.

"We had a great response to the first round of our AGRI Milk Cooler grants last fall, which helped install 39 milk coolers across the state," MDA's Assistant Commissioner Whitney Place said. "This grant allows for investments in schools and early care and education organizations, provides nutritious dairy products to Minnesota's children, and expands markets for the state's dairy farmers."

Applications for milk cooler grants must be submitted by 4 p.m. April 4.