MDA funds encourage urban agriculture in the state

Over $280,000 in grant funding from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is available for education and community development

Graham Park mural.jpg
A mural at Graham Park is across the street from where the Rochester Farmers Market will be held inside buildings 31 and 35 from November to April. (Noah Fish / Agweek)

Entities looking to promote urban youth agricultural education and urban agricultural community development can apply for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Urban Agriculture Grant.

Grant money is aimed at businesses, schools, nonprofits, local governments and tribal entities seeking to promote urban agriculture. Eligible project expenses include equipment purchases and physical improvements, and dedicated staff/contractor time.

According to a press release, the MDA will award up to $280,500 in funding to eligible applicants serving communities in cities with a population over 10,000, or cities with populations of at least 5,000 that have 10% of the population living at or below 200% of the poverty line, or comprised of people of color/Native American tribal community members.

Tribal communities are also eligible, regardless of population size. The MDA expects to award 50% of the available funds to projects located in or serving communities of color or Native American tribal communities, according to the release.

In previous rounds of the "highly competitive grant program" funds have gone to stimulate urban agriculture from "Saint Paul’s Eastside to Duluth, and from Virginia to North Minneapolis."


Applicants may request a maximum of $50,000 per project, and up to 100% of the total project cost may be covered by the grant. Up to half of the award may be requested as an advance. Funding is made available through the AGRI Program , which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, and schools throughout the state of Minnesota.

Proposals must be submitted to the AGRI Urban Grants web page before 4 p.m. on Jan. 14. The page includes detailed information on the grants and instructions how to apply.

What To Read Next
Get Local