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    Subdivision 1. Departmental duties. For the purposes of expanding, improving, and
developing production and marketing of products of Minnesota agriculture, the commissioner
shall encourage and promote the production and marketing of these products by means of:
(a) advertising Minnesota agricultural products;
(b) assisting state agricultural commodity organizations;
(c) developing methods to increase processing and marketing of agricultural commodities
including commodities not being produced in Minnesota on a commercial scale, but which may
have economic potential in national and international markets;
(d) investigating and identifying new marketing technology and methods to enhance the
competitive position of Minnesota agricultural products;
(e) evaluating livestock marketing opportunities;
(f) assessing and developing national and international markets for Minnesota agricultural
(g) studying the conversion of raw agricultural products to manufactured products including
(h) hosting the visits of foreign trade teams to Minnesota and defraying the teams' expenses;
(i) assisting Minnesota agricultural businesses desiring to sell their products;
(j) conducting research to eliminate or reduce specific production or technological barriers to
market development and trade; and
(k) other activities the commissioner deems appropriate to promote Minnesota agricultural
products, provided that the activities do not duplicate programs or services provided by the
Minnesota Trade Division.
    Subd. 2. Agricultural development grants and contracts. In order to carry out the duties
in subdivision 1, the commissioner, in addition to whatever other resources the department
may commit, shall make grants and enter into contracts to fulfill the obligations of subdivision
1. The commissioner may enter into partnerships or seek gifts to carry out subdivision 1. The
commissioner may contract with, among others, agricultural commodity organizations, the
University of Minnesota, and agriculture related businesses to fulfill the duties. The commissioner
shall make permanent rules for the administration of these grants and contracts. The rules shall
specify at a minimum:
    (a) eligibility criteria;
    (b) application procedures;
    (c) provisions for application review and project approval;
    (d) provisions for program monitoring and review for all approved grants and contracts; and
    (e) other provisions the commissioner finds necessary.
    Contracts entered into by the commissioner pursuant to this subdivision shall not exceed
75 percent of the cost of the project supported by the commissioner's grant. In any year, no
organization shall receive more than $70,000 in grants from the commissioner.
    Subd. 3. Audits. The books, records, documents, and accounting procedures and practices of
any organization receiving a grant or contract from the commissioner under the provisions of
subdivision 2 shall be subject to examination by the department. The commissioner may prescribe
uniform methods of accounting to be used by grant or contract recipients.
    Subd. 4. Advisory group. The commissioner may establish an ad hoc advisory group to
assist in evaluating grant requests made under subdivision 2.
    Subd. 5. Value-added agricultural product processing and marketing grant program.
(a) For purposes of this section:
(1) "agricultural commodity" means a material produced for use in or as food, feed, seed, or
fiber and includes crops for fiber, food, oilseeds, seeds, livestock, livestock products, dairy, dairy
products, poultry, poultry products, and other products or by-products of the farm produced for
the same or similar use, except ethanol; and
(2) "agricultural product processing facility" means land, buildings, structures, fixtures,
and improvements located or to be located in Minnesota and used or operated primarily for the
processing or production of marketable products from agricultural commodities produced in
(b) The commissioner shall establish and implement a value-added agricultural product
processing and marketing grant program to help farmers finance new cooperatives that organize
for the purposes of operating agricultural product processing facilities, forming marketing
cooperatives, and marketing activities related to the sale and distribution of processed agricultural
(c) To be eligible for this program a grantee must:
(1) be a cooperative organized under chapter 308A;
(2) certify that all of the control and equity in the cooperative is from farmers, family farm
partnerships, family farm limited liability companies, or family farm corporations as defined in
section 500.24, subdivision 2, who are actively engaged in agricultural commodity production;
(3) be operated primarily for the processing of agricultural commodities produced in
(4) receive agricultural commodities produced primarily by shareholders or members of
the cooperative; and
(5) have no direct or indirect involvement in the production of agricultural commodities.
(d) The commissioner may receive applications from and make grants up to $50,000 for
feasibility, marketing analysis, assistance with organizational development, financing and
managing new cooperatives, product development, development of business and marketing plans,
and predesign of facilities including site analysis, development of bid specifications, preliminary
blueprints and schematics, and completion of purchase agreements and other necessary legal
documents to eligible cooperatives. The commissioner shall give priority to applicants who use
the grants for planning costs related to an application for financial assistance from the United
States Department of Agriculture, Rural Business - Cooperative Service.
    Subd. 6. Livestock development. The commissioner shall establish a process, including
criteria and standards, to recognize and assist efforts by counties to maintain or expand their
livestock sector.
A county that meets the criteria may apply to the commissioner to be designated a "livestock
friendly" county.
History: 1963 c 486 s 1; 1983 c 293 s 29; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 312 art 1 s
12; 1987 c 396 art 10 s 2; 1995 c 233 art 2 s 56; 1997 c 216 s 19; 1998 c 401 s 14; 2000 c 260 s
9; 2000 c 477 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 2 s 19; 2002 c 373 s 1; 2003 c 128 art 13 s 2; 2007 c 45 art 1 s 9

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes