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MDA Offers Mini-Grant for Produce Growers

Reimbursement possible for water testing, harvest supplies, and other expenses

Minnesota produce farmers who improve their on-farm food safety systems may be eligible to reimburse those expenses through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s 2024 Produce Safety Mini-Grant, which is now accepting applications.

The Produce Safety Mini-Grant will distribute a total of approximately $33,600. Awardees will receive up to $800 per farm. No matching funds are required.

To be eligible, applicants must be produce growers farming in Minnesota, who grow and sell one or more of the following crops: leafy greens, apples, berries, carrots, cucumbers, garlic, green beans, herbs, melons, microgreens, mushrooms, onions, peppers, sprouts, summer squash/zucchini, or tomatoes.

Applicants must also have completed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program Grower Questionnaire at least once between 2021–2024.

Expenses must occur on or after October 1, 2023, or be planned to take place before August 2, 2024. Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Supplies to build or purchase a portable handwashing station
  • Harvest totes or collection tools
  • Water testing for generic coli
  • Consultation fees for developing an on-farm food safety plan
  • Waxed boxes and market containers

Additional information and the online application are available on the MDA website:

Farmers can contact the MDA Produce Safety Program at 651-539-3648 to request a paper copy. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on March 30, 2024.