May 28, 2024

MDA launches new grant program to enhance livestock protection

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Jake Sias
Grant County Herald

Minnesota farmers and ranchers now have a new opportunity to bolster the safety of their livestock through the Protecting Livestock Grant Program. This initiative by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) aims to assist producers in purchasing and installing equipment and supplies to prevent disease outbreaks and protect animals. With a total of $500,000 available, the program offers competitive one-time grants of up to $10,000, requiring a 50% match from applicants.

MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “With risks like chronic wasting disease and HPAI continuing to threaten Minnesota livestock, it’s important for farmers and ranchers to take proactive efforts to protect their animals.” He urged all livestock producers to take advantage of these funds to strengthen their operations.

Eligibility for the program extends to various livestock operations, with special consideration for producers of cervids (farmed elk and deer) and poultry, including ratites (ostrich, emu). These priorities align with recent legislative actions and the ongoing threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which has impacted over 150 poultry operations and more than 6 million birds in Minnesota since 2022.

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