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Lyle farmer, area ag producers receive state grants for equipment upgrades

Published 10:41am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adam Franzen was simply in the right place at the right time when he heard about a grant program that could help his farm.

After taking the initiative to download the application and fill out the paperwork, Franzen, a farmer from Lyle with a hog facility on his property, was one of about 90 people to receive assistance through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Investment Grant Program. More than 300 people applied for their portion of the $1 million pool of funds, he said.

Charlie Poster and Mary Hanks of the MDA met with local grant recipients on Monday and toured their facilities and recent site upgrades, including Franzen’s site, where he installed new manure handling equipment and fixed ventilation systems damaged by weather. The grant covered 10 percent of Franzen’s costs on those upgrades in 2012. Franzen, who grew up on a farm, built the facility in 2007 and houses hogs for a neighboring farm. He said the grants make a noticable difference.

Overall, the Value Added Grant Program aims to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by helping farmers, producers and processors add value to their operations and by assisting entrepreneurs investigating new opportunities or new enterprises. The Livestock Investment Grants are aimed at boosting the state’s livestock sector and helping livestock farmers stay competitive to ensure Minnesota remains one of the top 10 states in livestock production.

Other southern Minnesota grant recipients included Caledonia’s Peter Gengler of Sno Pac Foods, Dan Erickson of Alden, Michael Singlestad of Waseca and Scott Wardell of Montgomery Orchard in Montgomery.

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