MDA offers mini-grant for produce growers
Growers may be eligible for reimbursement of water testing, packaging, and more
ST. PAUL — Minnesota produce farmers may be eligible for reimbursement of expenses that improve on-farm food safety systems, including water testing for generic E. coli and other on-farm food safety improvements, via a mini-grant program from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The Produce Safety Mini-Grant will distribute a total of about $18,400, with awardees receiving up to $800 per farm. No matching funds are required.
To be eligible, applicants must be a Minnesota produce farmer that sells one or more of the following crops: leafy greens, apples, berries, cucumbers, green beans, melons, microgreens, mushrooms, onions, peppers, sprouts, summer squash/zucchini and tomatoes.
Growers may be reimbursed for past expenses occurring between Sept. 30, 2020, and March 12, 2022, and future expenses taking place between March 13-Aug. 31, 2022.
Examples of eligible expenses include:
- Supplies to build or purchase a portable handwashing station,
- Harvest totes,
- Water testing for generic E. coli, or
- Consultation fees for developing an on-farm food safety plan.
Additional information and the application are available on the MDA website at mda.state.mn.us/minigrant . Applications will be accepted through March 12 at 11:59 p.m.