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Local projects among sustainable farming grant recipients

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Photo illustration, Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture awarded Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grants totaling $241,009 to nine farmers and researchers across Minnesota.

Among those recipients are two local projects. Projects will explore sustainable agriculture practices and systems that could make farming more profitable, resource efficient and personally satisfying. The program has granted more than $4.2 million to Minnesota farmers over its 29-year history.

A grant of $50,000 was awarded to Sacha Seymour and the Environmental Initiative to investigate practices that benefit both farming production costs and natural resources conservation in Stearns, Todd, Morrison, Benton, Wright, Meeker and Kandiyohi counties. A grant of $23,773.28 was awarded to Jane Jewett of WillowSedge Farm to determine the viability of a forever green poultry ration built on small grains and perennial crops for production of small-flock meat chickens in Aitkin, Ramsey and Rice counties.

โ€œIโ€™ve been a long-time supporter of these programs and believe the projects presented here are great examples of the innovative ideas Minnesota farmers and researchers are exploring and testing to make farming in Minnesota more productive and sustainable,โ€ Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen stated in a news release.

All projects take place on Minnesota farms and are summarized in the annual Greenbook, now available at www.mda.state.mn.us/greenbook or by contacting Alison Fish at 651-201-6012 or alison.fish@state.mn.us .

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Applications for the next round of grants are being accepted until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. Projects from farmers receive priority, but nonprofit and educational organizations are also invited to apply. Projects may receive funding up to $50,000. Full details and the online application are available at www.mda.state.mn.us/sustagdemogrant .

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