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Mini Grants for Produce Safety Available from MDA

The Produce Safety Program at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for the 2024 program. Deadline to apply is March 30, 2024. The Produce Safety Mini-Grant helps reimburse Minnesota produce farmers for expenses that improve on-farm food safety systems.

This grant provides reimbursement up to $800 per farm. No matching funds from the applicant are required.

Who can apply?

Produce growers who farm 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, tomatoes.

Have completed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program Grower Questionnaire at least once between 2021-2024.

Are in good standing and not debarred or suspended to receive state or federal funds.

What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?

Expenses must be related to improvements in on-farm food safety systems and fall within one of the below categories. Expenses must occur on/after October 1, 2023 or planned to take place before August 2, 2024.

  • Water testing for generic E. coli
  • Pre-harvest water: must be a quantitative testing method for generic E. coli. Post harvest-water: can be presence/absence or quantitative testing method for generic E. coli.
  • Plastic or paper liners
  • Harvest collection tools
  • Market containers
  • Supplies to build or purchase a portable handwashing station
  • Supplies to build or purchase a portable produce washing station
  • Canvas bags
  • Sanitizer used for wash water and food contact surfaces
  • Consultation fees for developing an on-farm food safety plan
  • Waxed boxes
  • Harvest totes
  • Carts and pull wagon

How to apply

Applications are due by March 30, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Applications received after the due date will not be considered for funding.

The application can be completed online or with a paper form. 

For more information on how awardees will be selected, see the MDA Mini Grant site here.

What do I need to include with my application?

Answer all the questions that have an asterisk symbol (*) indicating they are required. Note that answering additional questions may help you be considered in additional drawing rounds.

If you have attended an applicable produce safety training and want to receive consideration for being drawn in that category you must include:

  • A copy of a certificate of attendance for a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule Grower Training or a Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training offered by the University of Minnesota Extension


For questions, please contact the Produce Safety Program via email at or call 651-539-3648. Questions about the grant must be submitted by March 22 at 4:00pm.

All questions asked are added to the regularly updated list of Questions and Answers about the grant.


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